Amidst the reports on the increasing military presence of the Russian Federation on Ukraine’s border, U.S. President Joe Biden has proposed Vladimir Putin to have a summit meeting in a third country in the coming months. The telephone conversation with the Russian leader was held on Tuesday, April 13, the press service of the White House said.

The American President expressed his deep concern over the sudden build-up of Russian troops in the region bordering with Donbas, eastern Ukraine, and in the illegally-annexed Crimea. He called on Putin to de-escalate tension on the border with Ukraine and stressed the United States’ commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

The statement of the White House reads, “President Biden also made clear that the United States will act firmly in defense of its national interests in response to Russia’s actions, such as cyber intrusions and election interference”.

Besides, President Biden asserted his intent to build stable relations with Russia. During the phone conversation, the American President spoke about Washington’s intent to maintain a strategic dialogue with Moscow on emerging security issues and arms control. In this connection, Joe Biden underscored the necessity to discuss during their personal meeting a number of regional and global challenges which the United States and Russia face today.

Immediately after the phone call from the White House, the Kremlin propagandists began to present the conversation initiated by the American President as “an indisputable victory” of Vladimir Putin at the geopolitical level.

However, the media and political analysts both in Ukraine and the West hold a different opinion. For instance, the German newspaper Die Zeit writes, “Not so long ago, Biden has admitted that he considers Putin to be a killer without a soul. Biden also said that the Russian President would pay for attempting to disrupt his election campaign. And now, Biden wants to meet with such a man face to face?

“Biden has no illusion but it helps little. Indeed, some conflicts are difficult to discuss from a distance. Besides, the effect is different. It is one thing when Biden on phone makes it clear to the Russian President what kind of the United States he is going to deal with and when the meeting will be held face to face”.
Joe Biden’s proposal to Vladimir Putin to hold a summit meeting in the coming months in one of the third countries is a truly strong diplomatic move of the new owner of the White House.

Now, the Russian-American agenda will be shaped by the possibility of a future summit in which Putin is more interested than Biden. The Russian President believes that this meeting will enhance his reputation of a world player and therefore it is highly unlikely that he will try to swing the gaming table prior the summit. This is the opinion of Vitaliy Portnirov, a Ukrainian analyst and journalist.

In the event that the meeting will be held, Ukraine should not fear any diplomatic catastrophe, Portnikov claims. The position of the American President concerning the Russian-Ukrainian crisis is well known. Moreover, it has been repeatedly articulated on many occasions including the last conversation between the American and Russian presidents.

 “There is no reason to believe that this position will change during the talks with Putin. More than that, Putin has no arguments to influence Biden’s position. The real subject of the forthcoming talks will be Russia’s preparedness or unpreparedness to refrain from the further aggression and the issue of price which Russia will pay for its continuation. It will be naïve to believe that the summit will influence the crisis in one way or the other. Putin is not going to leave Donbas and all the more so Crimea while Biden has no instruments to smoke him out of there. But warnings will nevertheless be voiced.

“By inviting Putin to meet, Biden gives us several months or maybe even years of respite. Now the question is how we will use this chance”, Portnikov summed up his commentary.

Meanwhile, Oleksiy Danylov, the secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, met the other day with ambassadors of the EU member-countries. He assured them that the Ukrainian military at the frontline is ready for any worsening in the situation and that Ukraine continues to be “the outpost of Europe”.

The newspaper Voice of Ukraine