Evidence of a meeting between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin began to crystallize.
After talks between Biden’s security advisor Jake Sullivan and Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said in a joint statement on Monday: “The meeting was an important step in preparing for a planned summit between the United States and Russia, the date and location that will be at a later date. The time will be announced.” .
On Monday, White House spokeswoman Jane Psaki said there was progress in plans for the summit. However, these matters have yet to be finalized and thus the meeting cannot be announced yet.
Sullivan and Patrushev met in Geneva on Monday. “The discussions were constructive, and despite the differences that still exist, they enabled a better understanding of the common positions,” the statement said. The two sides expressed their confidence in the possibility of finding mutually acceptable solutions in a number of fields. It was agreed that “the normalization of US-Russian relations would be in the interest of the two countries and would contribute to global predictability and stability.”
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov met in Reykjavik, Iceland, last Wednesday. Biden proposed a summit for Putin in Europe in June. The Kremlin had left it open for now on whether Putin would meet Biden.
Geneva or Vienna?
The Swiss newspaper, Tages-Anziger, reported today, Monday, citing “reliable sources”, that the summit meeting is expected to be held in Geneva. Only the Berne Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared that Switzerland was prepared “to provide good services if they are useful and desired”. This also includes the role of the host for conversations and meetings. The ministry did not want to comment on specific offers.
For a while, Vienna, at least in Austria, was also rumored to be a potential summit site. According to his office, Chancellor Sebastian Curtis (ÖVP) contacted Putin at the end of April and promoted a possible summit between the Russian president and his US counterpart Biden.