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Russian, U.S. Security Chiefs to Meet Ahead of Possible Putin-Biden Summit – Reports

Jake Sullivan Alex Brandon / AP / TASS

Russia’s security chief is set to meet his U.S. counterpart in Europe in the coming weeks to prepare for an anticipated summit between Presidents Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden, the Kommersant business daily reported Wednesday. 

The Putin-Biden summit will be a key item on the agenda at the talks between Russian Security Council chief Nikolai Patrushev and U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, the outlet said. Biden and Putin have in principle agreed to meet, with possible dates floated sometime in mid-June after a G7 summit and a NATO leaders’ meeting in Europe.

According to Kommersant, Patrushev will meet Sullivan in an undisclosed European city in the coming weeks.

Moscow and Washington have not yet confirmed or denied the plans.

Kommersant published its report, without disclosing sources, as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Reykjavik ahead of the Arctic Council meeting.

Russia is set to succeed Iceland as the rotating chair of the Arctic Council, a dialogue-fostering body that hosted the eight countries bordering the Arctic amid Western concerns over Russia’s commercialization and militarization of the fast-melting region. 

Lavrov and Blinken, in their first meeting since Biden took office in January, sought to ease tensions that have escalated after the U.S. levied sanctions on Russia and Biden called Putin a “killer.”

The sides described their two-hour discussions as constructive.

Lavrov expressed readiness to “plow through the rubble left over from previous U.S. administrations,” while Blinken played up Putin’s cooperation with Biden for “a safer and more secure” world.

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