French statement announcing Biden-Putin summit on Ukraine
US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have accepted in principle to hold a summit.
US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have accepted in principle to hold a summit, the French Presidency announced Monday.
Western powers have mounted a last-ditch effort to prevent a European war after repeated ceasefire violations by Ukraine and the militarization along the Russian-Ukrainian border.
The summit, announced by France after a phone call between President Emmanuel Macron and Putin, has been accepted in principle by Moscow and Washington, according to the announcement.
Here is the full statement announcing the summit:
"The President of the Republic spoke with the President of the United States, Mr. Joe Biden and the President of the Russian Federation, Mr. Vladimir Putin.
He proposed a summit to be held between President Biden and President Putin and then with relevant stakeholders to discuss security and strategic stability in Europe.
Presidents Biden and Putin have both accepted the principle of such a summit. The substance will have to be prepared by Secretary Blinken and Minister Lavrov during their meeting on Thursday 24 February.
It can only be held at the condition that Russia does not invade Ukraine.
The President of the Republic will work with all stakeholders to prepare the content of these discussions."
The West has been accusing Russia of preparing to invade Ukraine and amassing soldiers on their common border, as the United States is increasingly militarizing Eastern Europe, under the pretext that Russia is preparing for military operations in Ukraine.
Alongside the accusations, the West has been threatening Russia with "severe consequences" if it invades. Russia repeatedly denied the western accusations while maintaining its right to defend its security, in addition to reserving its right to move troops inside its sovereign territory as it sees fit, as part of defending its security.
Moscow has also warned that NATO's plans to expand further eastward, including in Ukraine, represent a threat to its national security.
In the meantime, the US President has been warning against an imminent Russian attack repeatedly, to the extent of predicting a date for it.
Biden had told Americans earlier that they should leave Ukraine "as soon as possible, and in any event, in the next 24 to 48 hours," speaking from his White House podium. He added, “We don’t know what’s going to happen, but the risk is now high enough, and the threat is now immediate enough, that this is what prudence demands.”
The US President moved on from this to tell counterparts, in a phone call with transatlantic leaders, that Russian forces will possibly attack Ukraine soon.
In the meantime, and while drawing the attention to Russia, the office of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic in the Joint Center for Control and Coordination of the Ceasefire (JCCC) has reported 82 violations of the ceasefire by the Ukrainian armed forces over the past day, including shelling with weapons prohibited under the Minsk agreement.