US and Russian presidents have tentatively agreed to meet in a last-ditch diplomatic effort to halt Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine as heavy shelling continued Monday in a conflict in eastern Ukraine that sparked fears of a Russian offensive. will lead to.
French President Emmanuel Macron sought to broker a possible meeting between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin in a series of phone calls that pulled into the night. Macron’s office said the two leaders “accepted the principle of such a summit,” which will be followed by a comprehensive summit, which will also invite “relevant stakeholders to discuss security and strategic stability in Europe”. will be included.
A combination photo of Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin. pic/ap
A summit could offer a possible way out of Europe’s biggest military crisis in decades, and financial markets have risen high on a glimmer of hope for a diplomatic solution. However, both Washington and Moscow lowered hopes of a breakthrough, and satellite imagery shows Russian deployments closer to the border with Ukraine than previously thought.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Putin and Biden could have a phone call or meeting at any time, but there were no concrete plans for the summit yet. He also said that Putin would soon address an extraordinary session of Russia’s Security Council.
The White House said in a statement that Biden had accepted the meeting “in principle” but only “if there was no aggression”. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, “We are always ready for diplomacy.” “We are also prepared to impose swift and dire consequences, should Russia choose war instead.” She added that “at present, Russia is continuing to prepare for a full-scale attack on Ukraine very soon.”
Ukraine welcomes the prospect of a summit, but nothing can be resolved without Kiev’s participation, Ukraine’s top security official, Oleksiy Danilov, said on Monday. “No one can solve our issue without us. Everything has to happen with our participation.”
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