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19 May, 2021 13:09

Putin & Biden may meet soon, but only after Moscow decides whether US actions match officials' words, says Russian Deputy FM

Putin & Biden may meet soon, but only after Moscow decides whether US actions match officials' words, says Russian Deputy FM

Concrete plans for a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his American counterpart Joe Biden are yet to be finalized, as Moscow first wants to work out how Washington's practical actions correlate with its words.

That's according to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, who also said he believes it will be possible to reach an agreement very soon on holding the summit.

"Strictly speaking, we are hindered because we have not yet completed our analysis of how US statements correlate with its practical actions. This is the only obstacle," Ryabkov told reporters.

"I think, in the near future, we will finish these reflections, and an agreement will be reached."

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A potential face-to-face meeting in a third country was proposed by Biden in a phone call on April 13. According to the official readout from the White House, the two leaders discussed "a number of regional and global issues," with Biden reaffirming "his goal of building a stable and predictable relationship with Russia consistent with US interests."

Last week, Ryabkov said that Moscow was still studying Washington's proposal, and proper preparation of the meeting would be paramount.

READ MORE: Russia to deploy bombers in icy Arctic as US emphasizes need to ‘maintain peace’ in region ahead of crunch summit over territory

On Tuesday, Russian newspaper Kommersant revealed, citing a source, that the likely meeting place for Putin and Biden would be Switzerland. The publication also claimed that making arrangements for the summit could be one of the topics discussed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who have plans to meet on the sidelines of the Arctic Council in Reykjavik on Wednesday night.

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