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Kremlin expects ‘no breakthroughs’ in Putin-Biden summit

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov

The Kremlin says no "breakthroughs" are expected in the upcoming virtual meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his American counterpart, Joe Biden, during which the two leaders are set to discuss rising tensions around Ukraine.

"There's no need to expect any breakthroughs from this conversation. It is a working conversation during a very difficult period," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters at a news briefing in Moscow on Tuesday.

"The escalation of tensions in Europe is off the scale, it is extraordinary, and this requires a personal discussion at the highest level."

Peskov expressed Moscow's regret over the White House's predictable tendency to resort to sanctions against Russia; however, he said the Russian president was ready to hear out Biden's concerns about the situation around Ukraine.

Calling for everyone to keep "a cool head," Peskov said it was vital that Putin and Biden discuss the extraordinary escalation of tensions between the two sides.                               

The Kremlin spokesman had said a day earlier that the virtual meeting would come at a time that the state of relations between the United States and Russia was "deplorable" with regard to the tensions escalating around Ukraine and in the Black Sea region.

During the video call, scheduled to be made at 1500 GMT, the two leaders are expected to discuss Ukraine, NATO's eastward expansion and some issues of strategic stability.

The upcoming Putin-Biden conversation is the fifth since Biden's assumption of the presidential office. The two leaders have already had three phone calls, and they also met in the Swiss city of Geneva in person in June this year.

Tensions have escalated between Washington and Moscow over Ukraine and the Black Sea region.

The United States, its NATO allies and Ukraine have over the past weeks accused Moscow of enlarging the number of troops near Ukraine's border for a possible invasion. Russia has dismissed the allegation, but it has warned against any provocation from Ukraine.

Moscow says Washington is involved in aggressive moves in the Black Sea, where Ukraine and the United States have held military drills recently.

The Russian president has previously warned the West and Kiev against crossing the Kremlin's red lines over staging military exercises and sending weaponry to Ukraine.


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