“President Biden reaffirmed his goal of building a stable and predictable relationship with Russia in accordance with U.S. interests and proposed a meeting-summit in a third country in the coming months to discuss the full range of issues facing the United States and Russia,” the statement said.
The Kremlin, commenting on the conversation, did not specify whether Moscow would accept the proposal for a face-to-face meeting.
It is too early to talk about the location of the summit, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters. At the briefing, Psaki was asked if the meeting could take place in the summer. “In the coming months, it will be summer. We are in the early stages of this process. When there are more details, we will let you all know,” she said.
Kremlin press service said in a statement that Biden “expressed interest in normalizing the situation on the bilateral track and establishing stable and predictable cooperation on such acute issues as strategic stability and arms control, Iran’s nuclear program, the situation in Afghanistan, global climate change.”
“In this context, the President of the United States proposed to consider the possibility of holding a personal summit in the foreseeable future,” the press service said. “It is agreed to instruct the relevant agencies to work out the issues raised during the telephone conversation.”
Russian markets reacted to the news of the talks between the presidents. The indices of the Moscow Exchange and RTS began to rise sharply around 18:19 Moscow time. RTS is now almost 2% higher than Monday’s close, and the Moscow Exchange index is 0.13%.
The ruble also reacted to the news. The dollar was trading at 77.3-77.5 rubles for the whole trading day on Tuesday, and after the news, it fell sharply to 76.5 rubles by 18:32 GMT and continues to decline. The euro fell to the ruble 91.9 rubles at 17:00 GMT to 91.13 rubles by 18:32 GMT.
“He’ll pay for it”
In a mid-March interview with ABC, Biden said he considered Putin a murderer. He answered “yes” to the journalist’s question. Biden also said Putin would have to answer for trying to interfere in the U.S. election.
“He will pay for it,” the American president said in an interview. He did not specify what he meant, promising that the consequences for Putin would come soon. After Biden’s statements, the Russian Foreign Ministry invited Russia’s ambassador to the United States to Moscow for consultations. The diplomat has not yet returned to Washington.
“Whoever is called, he is called,” Putin soon commented on Biden’s words and wished the 78-year-old U.S. president health.
“We really know him personally. And what would I say to him? I’d tell him, “Be healthy.” I wish him well. I say this without irony, without jokes,” Putin said. He added that people, appreciating other states or peoples, always “look as if in a mirror” and see themselves there.
Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said at the time that these were “very bad statements by the PRESIDENT of the United States.” “He definitely does not want to establish relations with our country. And we will continue to proceed from this,” he said.
After Biden’s statement, the U.S. announced the expansion of sanctions against Russia because of the poisoning of politician Alexei Navalny. The U.S. Department of Commerce said it would restrict exports and re-exports to Russia from March 18 of equipment, technology, and software related to national security, primarily weapons.
On March 18, Putin said he was ready to speak live with Biden “at any time convenient for the American side.” The last telephone conversation between them was at Biden’s initiative on January 26.
“I want to invite him to continue our discussion, but on the condition that we actually do it live, online, without any delay. It seems to me that it would be interesting for the people of Russia, for the people of the United States, and for many other countries,” the Russian president said.
The White House responded by saying Biden would be busy. “We are working with the Russian leadership, members of the government at all levels. But I have nothing to report in terms of future meetings,” Jen Psaki said.