Biden and Putin agree ‘in principle’ summit amid Ukraine tensions

Ukraine's Territorial Defence Force stand in line after a combat skills training session Amid heightened tension over Ukraine, French President Emmanuel Macron appears to have secured agreement for an 'in principle' summit between the US and Russian presidents

US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed in principle to a summit over Ukraine, the office of French President Emmanuel Macron said, so long as Moscow does not invade Ukraine.

In a statement released early on Monday, the Elysee Palace said Macron had pitched both leaders on a summit over “security and strategic stability in Europe”.

“Presidents Biden and Putin have both accepted the principle of such a summit,” the statement said, before adding that such a meeting would be impossible if Russia invaded Ukraine as Western nations fear it plans to.

The White House later confirmed the planned summit.

The US is “committed to pursuing diplomacy until the moment an invasion begins,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement. “President Biden accepted in principle a meeting with President Putin … if an invasion hasn’t happened.”

“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,” she added.

There was no immediate comment from the Kremlin.

The summit follows a series of phone calls between Macron and leaders on both sides of the Atlantic amid heightened tensions over the situation in Ukraine, where Russia has massed troops near the border.

Roxs news Source: Aljazeera