LONDON, May 5. /TASS/. An in-person meeting between US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin would benefit both countries, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in an interview with Financial Times, published on Tuesday.
"I think it would be beneficial also for the two presidents to be able to speak directly, face to face," he said, naming the strategic stability realm among areas where progress can be made.
"There are also areas where it’s in our mutual interest to cooperate. We’ve already seen one of them. That was the extension of the New START treaty," the US top diplomat said. "There are other areas in the so-called strategic stability realm, where, maybe, progress can be made."
Blinken went on to say that Washington was not seeking to escalate tensions with Russia, but would respond to "reckless and agreessive" actions.
"We do not seek to escalate. We prefer to have a more predictable relationship with Russia, but that is up to Mr. Putin. And if Russia continues to have reckless and aggressive actions, it can be sure that we will respond again," he said.
The US top diplomat disagreed with the suggestion that Biden was afraid of meeting with Putin.
"President Biden believes very strongly that it’s important to be clear and direct, and one of the best ways to do that is actually meeting face to face. He has had a couple of conversations with President Putin on the phone now and there’s no secret he has said to him - including from before he was elected president - he has been very clear that if Russia keeps engaging in reckless, aggressive actions, we will respond," he said.
Russia has strongly and consistently denied all Western claims that its actions were reckless, aggressive or aimed against other countries.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Joe Biden held a phone call on April 13. According to the White House press service, Biden suggested holding a Russian-US summit in a third country over the next few months. After that, the US head of state explained that he had offered his Russian colleague to meet in the summer in Europe.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on April 30 that Biden’s June 11-14 visit to London and Brussels for participation in G7 and NATO summits was not being considered in Moscow as an option for the Russian-US summit."We do not participate in G7, we do not participate in NATO," the spokesman said, adding that the conclusion that the Russian President will not go there is "totally right.".