Putin Plans to Attend Biden Climate Summit Despite ‘Killer’ Jibe
Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, reacts during his annual news conference in Moscow, Russia. (Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg)

Putin Plans to Attend Biden Climate Summit Despite ‘Killer’ Jibe

Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to take part in a climate summit organized by U.S. counterpart Joe Biden, according to two officials with knowledge of the preparations in Moscow.

The Kremlin is working on Putin’s address to the virtual summit, though there’s been no final decision on his participation, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the information isn’t public.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Russia hasn’t confirmed that Putin will accept Biden’s invitation to the April 22-23 event.

Putin’s involvement would be his first public engagement with Biden as U.S. president amid deep strains in relations. The Kremlin reacted angrily and Russia recalled its U.S. ambassador after Biden last month agreed in a TV interview that Putin is a killer.

Biden also warned that Putin “will pay a price” for alleged election meddling. The U.S. is threatening new sanctions over hacking attacks it blames on Russia and the jailing of Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny.

The White House announced in March that Biden had included Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping among 40 world leaders invited to the climate summit, the administration’s first major international gathering. The U.S. president has urged all participants to set out how their countries “will contribute to stronger climate ambition” at the event, according to the White House.

Putin “pays great attention” to climate questions and Russia is a party to the Paris accord on the subject, Peskov said March 29.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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