scorecardBiden and Putin have tentatively agreed to hold a summit, says Macron's office
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Biden and Putin have tentatively agreed to hold a summit, says Macron's office

Matthew Loh   

Biden and Putin have tentatively agreed to hold a summit, says Macron's office
LifeInternational1 min read
  • Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin agreed to a summit amid fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
  • French leader Emmanuel Macron invited both leaders to hold talks, his office said on Sunday.

President Joe Biden and Russian leader Vladimir Putin have both agreed in principle to hold a summit "on security and strategic stability in Europe," according to the office of French President Emmanuel Macron.

The meeting details will be determined by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov when they meet on February 24, said Macron's office on Sunday evening.

The French leader had invited Biden and Putin to hold talks as tensions soar over fears that Russia intends to invade its neighboring Ukraine.

Macron's office said the meeting hinges on one fundamental condition — that Russia does not invade Ukraine.

The US confirmed Biden's tentative approval of a summit and his condition, per White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.

"As the President has repeatedly made clear, we are committed to pursuing diplomacy until the moment an invasion begins," the spokeswoman said.

"President Biden accepted in principle a meeting with President Putin following that engagement, again, if an invasion hasn't happened," Psaki added.

But she also repeated the White House's earlier warnings that Russia is still on the cusp of launching an invasion.

"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," Psaki said.

Earlier on Sunday, CBS News reported that Russian commanders had been ordered to move forward with the Ukraine invasion.

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