Russian President Vladimir Putin formally accepted U.S. President Joe Biden’s invitation to a one-on-one summit through his representatives during a high-level diplomatic meeting in Geneva on May 24, the Kommersant business newspaper has reported.
The White House said in a statement that Russia’s Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev met with U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in Geneva on May 24 and discussed the planned summit.
“The meeting was an important step in the preparation for a planned U.S.-Russia summit, the date and location of which will be announced later,” the statement said.
Patrushev is one of Putin’s closest associates and both have served as head of the Federal Security Service (FSB) during their long careers at the top of Russia’s political elite.
The meeting was the second high-level meeting between Russia and the U.S. and followed talks between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Secretary of State Antony Blinken on May 20 in Reykjavik.
The Putin-Biden summit is slated for June 15 or 16 in a “third country, although the exact date and venue have not been decided yet and will be announced later,” Kommersant reported, adding that Switzerland is the current favorite out of the possible locations.
“The talks were held in a constructive manner and, despite the persisting disagreements, made it possible to better understand each other’s positions,” the White House statement said, adding that priority attention was given to strategic stability and confidence was expressed that mutually acceptable solutions could be worked out in a number of areas.
“The parties agreed that the normalization of Russian-American relations would not only meet the interests of the two countries, but would also contribute to predictability and stabilization in the global arena,” the statement said.
Patrushev and Sullivan also discussed Sunday’s forced plane landing in Belarus in their talks, AP reported.
This story first appeared in bne intelliNews.