On Friday, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s offer to hold talks with President Biden was intended to prevent US-Russia ties from completely falling apart.
Putin made the offer after Biden agreed that the Russian leader was a “killer.” Peskov said that Putin made it clear that “it makes sense to have a talk to maintain Russia-US relations instead of trading barbs.”
When offering to speak with Biden, Putin said the talks should be done publicly over the internet. Western media outlets took this as Putin challenging Biden to a public debate, but Peskov said that was not the case. “Naturally, there can be no debate between the two presidents. He [Putin] suggested just continuing the dialogue between the two heads of state,” Peskov said.
Putin said the talks should happen soon, as early as Friday or Monday. When asked by reporters if he would take Putin up on his offer, Biden said, “I’m sure we’ll talk at some point.”
Peskov said the Kremlin hasn’t heard back from the White House on its offer for a call between the two leaders. “The request has been made,” he said. “The lack of response would mean a refusal to have a conversation.”
The hostility towards Russia from the Biden Administration is not just being expressed through rhetoric but also through sanctions. Earlier this month, the US slapped sanctions on several Russian officials and entities over the jailing of opposition figure Alexei Navalny. Other sanctions were expanded on Wednesday, and the administration is reportedly preparing new sanctions over dubious claims of election interference and as an effort to halt the Nord Stream 2, a Russia to Germany natural gas pipeline.