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Putin-Biden meeting might play to Russia’s advantage, says expert

On Tuesday, Russian and US Presidents Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden held their second telephone conversation since the American leader assumed office

OTTAWA, April 16. /TASS/. The possibility of a face-to-face meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden is still very high, even despite the US sanctions, Piotr Dutkiewicz, a professor at Carleton University (Ottawa) told TASS on Friday. Dutkiewicz is one of Canada’s leading experts on Russia and is one of the founders of the International Valdai Discussion Club.

The political analyst explained that the US foreign policy is "compartmental," which means that actions in one area are not supposed to disturb actions in another sphere. "In practical terms, it means that US new sanctions do not interfere with the meeting between President Putin and President Biden," the expert said.

He did not rule out that Russia may apply a different logic, "opting for the coherent approach," deeming the sanctions a hostile act that may influence the decision on the potential summit.

"Personally, I think that such a meeting could be very useful and will take place after Russia will respond with expulsion of some US diplomats from Moscow," Dutkiewicz said. "Such meeting will enable Putin to explain - using Western media as a vehicle - Russian position on key international issues and move ahead with needed agreements on nuclear proliferation, cooperation on terrorism etc. with the US," he noted, adding that this will be a unique opportunity that will play to Russia’s advantage.

On Tuesday, Russian and US Presidents Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden held their second telephone conversation since the American leader assumed office. As the Kremlin press office reported, both leaders discussed in detail the state of bilateral relations and a number of international issues. The White House informed that Biden proposed holding a personal meeting with Putin "in a third country" in the coming months. The US side later said that Washington was not changing its position of exerting pressure on Russia over the plans of holding a summit.

On Thursday, US President Joe Biden signed an executive order to impose a new round of sanctions against Russia. In particular, the US government is prohibiting American companies from acquiring Russian debt obligations issued by the Bank of Russia, the Russian National Wealth Fund or the Russian Ministry of Finance after June 14, 2021. Besides, the US Treasury Department slapped sanctions on 16 organizations and 16 individuals allegedly involved in interfering with America’s elections. In addition, Washington introduced restrictions against eight individuals and legal entities tied to Crimea, including members of the Crimean government.

The United States is also expelling 10 diplomats working at the Russian Embassy in Washington DC. According to the US administration, they "include representatives of Russian intelligence services."

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated earlier that Moscow would act in accordance with the principle of reciprocity in its relations with Washington. He noted that the new US sanctions would not facilitate organizing a meeting between Putin and Biden proposed by Washington.