Moscow.- The Kremlin announced today that the presidents RussiaAnd the Russian President Vladimir Putin, s United StateJoe BidenThey are contemplating a summit in June, although this meeting will depend a lot on how the current escalation of diplomatic tension between the two countries ends.
“They are talking about June, and there are specific dates,” Yuri Ushakov, the presidential advisor for international affairs, said in a program broadcast on Russian public television.
Biden He was the first to propose the summit during his telephone conversation in mid-April Put it inTo which the Kremlin replied “in the affirmative.”
The problem is that since then the two countries have been implicated in the exchange of sanctions, the expulsion of diplomats and the blacklists of senior officials.
At the reporter’s insistence, Ushakov did not want to set the date, but insisted that “June is June.”
The diplomat admitted that preparations for the summit have not started yet, because the decision to hold it has not been taken yet.
“Of course, based on many factors, we will make a decision,” he added.
In this regard, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergei Lavrov, confirmed that the proposal he made Biden During his phone call with Putin two weeks ago, it was received “positively” and “now it is being studied.”
If that happens, it will be the first high-level meeting between the leaders of the two countries since then Put it in And former President Donald Trump will meet in Helsinki in July 2018.
Put it in He never reached a summit with Barack Obama, whom he encountered when he returned to the Kremlin in 2012 after four years as prime minister.
Lavrov made clear what the Kremlin was referring to when it spoke of “many factors”, as Moscow has accused Washington since then Biden Come to the White House to say one thing and do the opposite.
From this standpoint, the head of Russian diplomacy warned today that Moscow may take new measures against Washington if “unfriendly steps” continue to escalate.
He was referring to the expulsion of 10 diplomats and the blacklist of senior Russian officials that I prepared United State Through electoral interference, cyber espionage and a role Russia In Ukraine, to which Moscow responded 24 hours later with similar measures.
There have also been disagreements over the poisoning, arrest and conviction of the opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, whose health has deteriorated since he was sent to prison, where he is serving a prison sentence of two and a half years.
Tensions escalated between the Kremlin and the White House after mid-March Biden Call a “killer” Put it inAfter that, Moscow contacted its ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, who had not yet returned to his position for consultations.
Then, after the sanctions were announced, Moscow summoned the US ambassador, John Sullivan, and recommended that he leave the country to consult with his superiors, an advice he followed this week.
Added to this are tensions over Ukraine, which sits on its border Russia In recent weeks, a large number of forces have concentrated, which has raised fears of a new struggle for control of Donbas.
Putin accused this week United State During his speech on the state of the nation to organize a coup plot against the authoritarian Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, he likened it to the attacks on the Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro.
It’s not all bad news. Put it in Finally accepted an invitation Biden To participate remotely in the climate summit on Thursday and on Friday the army began withdrawing forces from the annexed Crimea peninsula.
Although Russia Three sectors in the Black Sea bordering Crimea were closed on Saturday despite NATO warnings United State He abandoned his plans to send two destroyers to the region.
A new cold war?
However, tensions escalated. In a very symptomatic article, ancestor Put it in In the Kremlin and the current deputy head of the Security Council RussiaDmitry Medvedev did not hesitate to assert this week that both powers “have moved from rivalry to confrontation, and in fact, back to the era of the Cold War.”
Medvedev (2008-12), who was on good terms with Obama, blamed the situation United StateWho accused him of “selfish defense of his interests”, which he linked with “the fall of the authority of the United States as the leader of the Western world.”
He came to compare the current animosity with what happened during the Cuban Missile Crisis (1962), when Moscow and Washington were “five minutes” away from World War III.
If US missiles are in Turkey, then they are now sanctions, entering the post-Soviet backyard, NATO convergence with the Russian border and opposition to the Nord Stream gas pipeline.