Biden proposes meeting with Putin, calls for de-escalation with Russia following sanctions
Biden proposes meeting with Putin, calls for de-escalation with Russia following sanctions

WASHINGTON: The U.S.  President Joe Biden called for a de-escalation in tensions with Russia on Thursday after hitting the country with fresh sanctions and proposed a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin this summer.

In his remarks at the White House, Biden detailed his phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this week, as well as his administration's approach to bilateral relations. "I was clear with President Putin that we could have gone further, but I chose not to do so. I chose to be proportionate," Biden said, referring to the punitive actions against Russia that he authorized.

The United States earlier in the day announced the expulsion of 10 Russian diplomats and sweeping sanctions against individuals and entities in response to Moscow's alleged election interference and cyber activities.

On the same day, Russia Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov summoned U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan, telling him that the new anti-Russian sanctions will shortly be followed by "a series of retaliatory measures." "The United States is not looking to kick off a cycle of escalation and conflict with Russia," Biden said. "We want a stable, predictable relationship."

Biden suggested that Washington and Moscow work together to address global challenges such as non-proliferation, global pandemic, and climate change.

Now is the time to de-escalate. The way forward is through thoughtful dialogue and diplomatic process," Biden said. "The U.S. is prepared to continue constructively to move toward that process." He said he proposed a summit with Putin in Europe this summer to address a range of bilateral issues, and the two countries are discussing the possibility of this meeting.

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