Biden, Putin Agree in Principle to Ukraine Summit
US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed in principle to a Ukraine summit. The two countries will discuss security and strategic stability in Europe. However, Biden added the condition that the summit will only proceed if Russia won’t invade Ukraine.
RELATED: Brent Crude Prices Hit $96/Barrel Amid Ukraine-Russia Tensions
Ukraine Summit To Happen if Russia Will Hold Off Invasion Plans
US Secretary of State Anthony Bliken and Russian Foreign will meet on Thursday to discuss the Ukraine summit. Earlier, French President Emmanuel Macron brokered the deal for the two countries to meet. Macron announced the summit Sunday after Biden spoke with him.
However, a press release reiterated the meeting’s condition. The summit will only happen if Russia does not invade Ukraine. However, the announcement came just as Russia gave orders for its commanders to carry out the invasion.
Psaki Confirms Ukraine Summit
Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed that both Biden and Putin accepted the invitation to meet “in principle”. Psaki also said that despite the agreement, Russia continues to get ready for an invasion. Russia continues to show signals that they are preparing for “a full-scale assault on Ukraine very soon.
“President Biden accepted in principle a meeting with President Putin following that engagement, again, if an invasion hasn’t happened. We are always ready for diplomacy. We are also ready to impose swift and severe consequences should Russia instead choose war. And currently, Russia appears to be continuing preparations for a full-scale assault on Ukraine very soon,” she added. However, Psaki noted that the President will continue to pursue diplomacy. Until at least “the moment an invasion begins.”
Ukraine Reported That Violence Continues to Escalate
Meanwhile, ground commanders are making plans on how to respond to attacks in their sectors. The Ukrainian military reported that violence continues to escalate in their eastern provinces. I reported at least 52 shellings by Russian troops from occupied Donbas in Ukraine-controlled areas.
If the shellings continue, this can jeopardize the Ukraine summit. “As the President has repeatedly made clear, we are committed to pursuing diplomacy until the moment an invasion begins. Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Lavrov are scheduled to meet later this week in Europe, provided Russia does not proceed with military action,” Psaki added. However, until now, what exactly the summit aims to achieve remains up in the air. Despite a volley of phone calls between Macron, Biden, Putin, and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy, details remain unclear.
Former US Ambassador to Russia: Maybe They Should Invite Ukraine
Michael McFaul, a former US ambassador to Russia, said he remains skeptical on whether the summit will happen. He tweeted that “But if Biden and Putin did meet, they should invite (Zelenskiy) to join.
Given the condition that Russia stands down on its invasion plans, the Ukraine summit remains on shaky ground. Since last year, Russian forces began building up along the Ukraine border. Many Western experts say that this activity is a prelude to an invasion that could come at any moment. However, Russia continues to deny that it plans to invade. In addition, further tensions rose when the Belarusian defense ministry said Russia plans to extend military drills in Belarus.
Meanwhile, US-based satellite images showed multiple deployments of Russian units as near as 9 miles from Ukraine’s border.
Watch the NewsNation Now video reporting that Biden, Putin said to agree in principle to Ukraine summit
Do you believe that the Ukraine Summit will happen? If yes, what do you think will this meeting achieve?
Tell us what you think is the ultimate endgame in the Russia-Ukraine standoff. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.