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Biden says confident of meeting Putin in June

Washington,  US President Joe Biden said that he is confident that a meeting with his Russian counterparty Vladimir Putin could be arranged in June, downplaying the impact of the ongoing tension along the Moscow-Kiev border to the summit.

“I’m confident we’ll be able to do it. We don’t have any specific time or place. That’s being worked on,” Biden told reporters in the White House on Friday when asked about meeting with Putin in June.

He also suggested Russia’s military build-up along the border with Ukraine would not change his intention to meet with Putin, reports Xinhua news agency.

“It does not impact my desire to have a one on one meeting… He (Putin) had more troops (at the border) before. He has withdrawn troops. There are still troops amassed, but significantly less than he had a month ago.”

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a briefing later in the day that the discussions between two sides over the summit’s location, timing, and agenda are still underway.

She added the US and Russia would continue to disagree over multiple issues while noting these disagreements would not need to be resolved before the summit.

Biden said earlier this week that he expected to meet with Putin during the upcoming trip to Europe in June, when he will attend the G7 Summit in the UK and then the NATO Summit in Belgium.

Relations between Washington and Moscow have been adversarial in recent years.

The two were bitterly divided over Ukraine, human rights, cybersecurity issues, and they mutually accused the other of domestic political interference.

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