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November 18, 2021
Kremlin Says Second Biden-Putin Meeting Is in the Works
Source: Foreign Policy
Journalist Amy MacKinnon
Amid increasing alarm among U.S. officials about a Russian military equipment buildup near its border with Ukraine, preparations are underway for a virtual meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov confirmed to reporters on Wednesday. No meeting date has been set, he said, which follows an in-person summit between the two leaders in Geneva in June...News of preparation for another—albeit virtual—summit with Putin comes as U.S. officials are increasingly anxious about unexplained Russian military movements close to Ukraine’s border. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he fears Russia may be “attempting to rehash” its 2014 invasion of the country, which led to the annexation of the Crimean peninsula. Those fears have sparked a flurry of diplomatic activity between 11/19/21, 12:38 PM Page 1 of 3 the United States and its European allies as well as with Russia. CIA director William Burns traveled to Moscow earlier this month to warn Russia that Washington was closely watching its troop buildup.
A meeting between the two leaders would offer Biden the opportunity to warn Putin himself.
"It has to come from the very top; he needs to hear it from President Biden directly," said Andrea Kendall-Taylor, director of the Transatlantic Security Program at the Center for a New American Security and who briefly served as senior director for Russia in Biden's National Security Council. Conveying the message privately in a meeting also offers Putin the opportunity to change course without appearing weak, Kendall-Taylor said.
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