President Joe Biden says a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin is his “hope and expectation” for his upcoming trip to Europe in June.
Biden made the announcement in response to questions from reporters at the White House on Tuesday, saying his administration is “working on it.” Biden will be in Europe for the G7 Summit scheduled for June 11-13 in the United Kingdom. Biden is also tentatively expected to travel to Belgium to meet with European and NATO leaders.
Biden was asked if he’ll meet with Putin on his trip to Europe.
“That is my hope and expectation. We’re working on it,” he said.
— Josh Wingrove (@josh_wingrove) May 4, 2021
Biden has taken an aggressive stance against Russia in his first 100 days in office, imposing sweeping sanctions against the country in retaliation for its cyber attacks against the U.S. and its election meddling. Biden has also been heavily critical of Putin’s treatment of political rival Alexei Navalny, who survived an attempted assassination and now sits in a Russian prison.
.@PressSec says that President Biden had his first call with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
She says they discussed the Navalny arrest, Ukraine sovereignty, hack of U.S. agencies, and alleged Russian bounties on U.S. soldiers pic.twitter.com/Ond5ikbkfX
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) January 26, 2021
Biden has also gone after Putin personally, arguing in an interview with ABC News that the Russian president is a “killer” with no soul. (RELATED: Biden’s Intel Chief Releases 2020 Election Report Confirming Russian And Iranian Interference)
Both the U.S. and Russia have recalled their ambassadors from their embassies in Moscow and Washington for “consultation” on how to move forward amid the rising tensions.
“I believe it is important for me to speak directly with my new colleagues in the Biden administration in Washington about the current state of bilateral relations between the United States and Russia,” U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan said when announcing the recall in April. “Also, I have not seen my family in well over a year, and that is another important reason for me to return home for a visit. I will return to Moscow in the coming weeks before any meeting between Presidents Biden and Putin.”