The Kremlin has warned that expectations should be kept low for President Vladimir Putin's Tuesday virtual summit with his American counterpart Joe Biden, calling the current situation ?very difficult.?
Speaking to reporters hours before the planned showdown, spokesman Dmitry Peskov suggested that any optimism might be misplaced. According to him, the current escalation of tensions in Europe is off the charts.
"It is extraordinary. And, of course, it requires a personal discussion at the highest level," he said, calling any communication between presidents a good thing in itself, even if no breakthroughs are made.
"There have been a lot of emotional statements in recent days," he continued. "Obviously, if the two presidents are going to talk, they want to discuss these issues and do not want a deadlock."
According to his spokesman, Putin is ready to listen to Biden's concerns and seeks to clarify the Kremlin's view on current issues that are dividing the two nations.
"[Putin] is ready for the conversation, but the conversation should be mutually respectful, and, in the conversation, the partners should still take into account each other's interests and concerns," Peskov continued. "I do not doubt that our president will be ready to convey his concerns to his American counterpart."
The talks between Putin and Biden come as tensions remain high on the frontier between Ukraine and Russia. The US-led NATO bloc has warned Moscow that any military incursion into Ukraine will be met with a barrage of sanctions, while Russia has denied all accusations that it is planning such a maneuver.
The talks between Putin and Biden will take place via a secure video link on Tuesday evening, at 6pm Moscow Time, which is 10am in Washington. According to the White House, the two will discuss not only Ukraine, but also strategic stability, cyber, and regional issues.