US: Biden agrees to meet Putin if he halts Ukraine attack

President Joe Biden inauguration
Posted at 7:57 PM, Feb 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-20 20:57:55-05

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — President Joe Biden has agreed “in principle” to a meeting with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin as long as that country holds off on what U.S. officials believe is an imminent assault on Ukraine.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the administration has been clear that “we are committed to pursuing diplomacy until the moment an invasion begins.” U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are set to meet on Thursday in Europe as long as a further invasion doesn’t occur.

In a statement, Psaki said: “We are always ready for diplomacy. We are also ready to impose swift and severe consequences should Russia instead choose war. And currently, Russia appears to be continuing preparations for a full-scale assault on Ukraine very soon.”

French President Emmanuel Macron assisted in brokering the potential talks after a day of talks with the two leaders Sunday.