The Kremlin warned on Monday (Feb. 21) that there are no concrete plans for a summit on Ukraine between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden, Reuters noted.
The White House on Sunday night had announced an agreement to meet with Putin in the coming days on the condition that Russia does not invade Ukraine.
White House press secretary Jen Psakiel said in a statement that the meeting would take place after Blinken and Lavrov’s.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet Thursday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and, as Psakiel said, 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,” Psaki added.
The idea of the summit was championed by French President Emmanuel Macron—as one of his advisers told Reuters—had been the one to arrange the summit with Putin at President Biden’s request.
Macron said in a statement that the content of the summit would be prepared by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during a meeting scheduled for Thursday.
Meanwhile Ukraine encouraged the idea of Biden and Putin participating in a summit, but stressed that they must involve Kiev in any discussions, according to Reuters.
“No one can resolve our issue without us,” security official Oleksiy Danilov told a briefing.
However Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said a call or meeting between Putin and Biden could be scheduled in the coming days, but there were no concrete plans yet.
Biden said Friday that he was “convinced” Putin had made the decision to invade Ukraine.
Moscow has amassed more than 150,000 troops around Ukraine’s borders in Belarus, Russia, Crimea and the Black Sea in recent weeks, according to U.S. intelligence.
Russia, however, has denied having invasion plans and said it was willing to continue dialogues.