Biden Says He Expects to Meet Putin During June Europe Trip

President Joe Biden said his team is working to schedule a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during his visit to Europe next month.

A June meeting is “my hope and expectation,” Biden told reporters at the White House on Tuesday. “We’re working on it,” he added.

After the two leaders spoke last month, the White House said Biden had proposed a meeting in a third country in the coming months. Biden is set to travel in June to the U.K. and Belgium for summits with the leaders of the G-7, NATO and the European Union.

The Biden administration has imposed additional sanctions on Russia in retaliation for the SolarWinds Corp. hack and the treatment of dissident Alexey Navalny. But Biden has said that while the U.S. and Russia have their differences, he wants to work with Moscow on a range of issues, including nuclear arms reduction and climate change.

A meeting between the two leaders will be tense. Biden said in an interview in March that he considered Putin to be a killer and warned the Russian leader would “pay a price” for his efforts to undermine U.S. elections.

The Kremlin responded by recalling its ambassador to the U.S.; Putin offered a wish for Biden’s “good health” and proposed a live televised debate between the two leaders.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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