MOSCOW, March 19. /TASS/. The talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden may still take place on Monday, if the US is unable to hold the discussion on Friday, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. He reminded that the Kremlin is also ready to hold the talks at any time convenient for Biden.
The White House has not accepted the offer to hold live talks between the Russian and US leaders yet. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated that Biden would be on a working trip to the US state of Georgia on Friday, so it is unlikely that he will be able to hold talks with Putin on this day.
When asked to comment on these statements, Peskov noted that they are informative. "This means that it [the discussion] cannot take place today. But as President Putin said, it’s either Friday or Monday, because on the weekend, Putin won’t be in very comfortable conditions to organize communication with the US president, so Monday is still an option. Another option is [to hold the talks] at any time convenient for the US president," the Kremlin spokesman reminded.
According to Peskov, Russia is currently initiating the talks between Putin and Biden via diplomatic channels, and it will wait for a response.
The spokesman reminded that the first phone call between the Russian and US leaders after Biden’s inauguration was held on the initiative of the US.
"And now, in light of President Putin’s initiative, the Russian side is showing initiative itself and sending it via diplomatic channels. It will wait for a response," Peskov said.
He explained that "action is taken to request such a contact" between both leaders via diplomatic channels.
Conversation via secure video link
The existing technologies make it possible for Putin and Biden to hold a conversation via a secure video link, according to Peskov.
When asked what platform could host such an event, he said: "There are video links and video conferences." "In fact, video conferences have become an important part of life in all countries," Peskov added.
The Russian presidential spokesman pointed out that various open and secure platforms had been created for those purposes. "Thank God, communication technologies allow the Russian and US leadership to maintain contact through secure channels," Peskov said, adding that the conversation between the two leaders was supposed to be open to the public.
"You know, there are open and secure channels. There are secure video channels that can be opened to the public. Actually, Putin meant a public conversation that would be open to the people of the two countries," the Kremlin spokesman noted.
When speaking about what questions Putin would ask his US counterpart, Peskov said: "The presidents must have many questions for each other." "There are issues that concern bilateral relations… There are issues related to ongoing allegations against Russia, aimed at putting all the blame on Russia," the spokesperson added.
Absence of a clear response
The Kremlin will regard the absence of a US clear response to Putin’s proposal for an open dialogue as a refusal, Peskov said.
"An inquiry has been made and there is either an answer or the absence of an answer to it. The absence of an answer is generally a refusal from such communication," the Kremlin spokesman said.
Replying to a question about whether the Kremlin would try to organize such contacts in case of the US refusal, Peskov stated: "They [attempts] will hardly continue indefinitely." "An inquiry has been made. No attempts are needed here," he said.
Speaking about what "an open dialogue" meant and whether this would be a live broadcast and journalists would be able to observe the talk, the Kremlin spokesman said that "there are no details and can be none so far." "We do not even know about the Americans’ decision so far. Naturally, it is possible to speak about any specific formats only after getting a response from the US side," Peskov said.
US President Joe Biden said in an interview with ABC on March 17 that the Russian leadership would have to "pay a price" for Moscow’s alleged attempts to meddle in the US presidential elections. He also answered in the affirmative when asked whether he considered Russian President Vladimir Putin a "killer." Following this, Putin offered his US counterpart Biden to hold an open dialogue live on Friday or on Monday. The Russian Foreign Ministry is already working to organize a conversation of President Putin and his US counterpart.