The United States and Russia have “in principle” agreed to a summit between US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. French President Emmanuel Macron proposed the summit after calling Putin for a second time in one day on Sunday.
French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin held another hour of telephone conversations late Sunday evening about the situation in Ukraine. It was their second meeting of the day, and the French government reports after the two leaders also spoke for nearly two hours earlier Sunday in an effort to prevent armed conflict in Ukraine.
Just before the first meeting with Putin, Macron had also spent half an hour on the phone with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodimir Zelensky and discussed possible ways to effect immediate de-escalation.
Macron also spoke with Biden and Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky on Sunday. According to France’s Elysée, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov will prepare the summit during their meeting on February 24.
The French government and the White House emphasized that the summit, for which a date has not yet been set, can only take place if Russia has not invaded Ukraine in the period before. However, should Russia still opt for war, the US is still ready to take swift and severe measures, the US government said in a response Monday morning. The White House further states that Biden will use a virtual summit of G7 leaders on Thursday to discuss the situation regarding Russia and Ukraine.
In addition to the Putin-Biden summit, Macron has also proposed a summit with the leaders of all countries involved in the Ukraine crisis.