Biden and Putin agree to summit
The U.S. and Russian presidents have tentatively agreed to meet in a last-ditch diplomatic effort to stave off Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine as heavy shelling continued Monday in a conflict in eastern Ukraine that is feared will spark the Russian offensive.
French President Emmanuel Macron sought to broker a possible meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin in a series of phone calls that dragged into the night.
Macron’s office said both leaders had both “accepted the principle of such a summit,” to be followed by a broader summit meeting also involving other “relevant stakeholders to discuss security and strategic stability in Europe.” It added that the meetings “can only be held on the condition that Russia does not invade Ukraine.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki, said the administration has been clear that “we are committed to pursuing diplomacy until the moment an invasion begins.” She noted that “currently, Russia appears to be continuing preparations for a full-scale assault on Ukraine very soon.”
Macron’s office said that U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov are set to lay the groundwork for the summit when they meet Thursday.