5 min agoWhite House official says Blinken and Lavrov will discuss the possible Biden-Putin summitFrom CNN’s Kaitlan Collins and Arlette Saenz
A White House official says Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will discuss a possible summit between President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin when they meet later this week.
But the official added a word of caution about those discussions.
“Blinken and Lavrov will discuss further if the invasion hasn’t started by then — in which case it’s all off,” the official said.
Another senior official added that no plans currently exist for a summit when it comes to timing or format.
10 min agoMacron spoke with Putin for a second time on SundayFrom CNN’s Samantha Beech
French President Emmanuel Macron has spoken with Russian President Vladimir Putin for a second time in fewer than 24 hours, the Elysée Palace said in a statement late Sunday.
The talk comes as Macron proposed a summit between US President Joe Biden and Putin, the Elysée Palace said.
Of the second Putin call late Sunday Paris time, the Elysée said: “The phone call between the French President and President Putin started at 11 p.m. Paris time (1 a.m. Moscow time).” That is 5 p.m. ET on Sunday.
The Elysée said the call lasted an hour.
This is the second time Macron has spoken to Putin in fewer than 24 hours, according to the French presidency. The first call lasted one hour and 45 minutes.
Macron’s second call with Putin follows his conversation with Biden earlier on Sunday. The White House said Biden and Macron spoke for 15 minutes.
Context: President Joe Biden has agreed “in principle” to a meeting with President Putin as long as Russia does not further invade Ukraine, according to a statement from White House press secretary Jen Psaki. CNN has asked the Kremlin if it has also agreed in principle, but has not received an immediate response.
33 min agoFrench President proposes Biden-Putin summit during call with Biden, Elysée says From CNN’s Mitchell McCluskey, Samantha Beech, Kaitlin Collins and Matthew Chance
(Getty Images)French President Emmanuel Macron has proposed a summit between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Elysée Palace said in a statement.
The statement said the potential summit can only be held “if Russia does not invade Ukraine.”
Macron and Biden spoke by phone for around 15 minutes to discuss the situation in Ukraine on Sunday.
The French presidency also said Macron had two calls with Putin on Sunday.
The Elysée said Macron proposed a summit on security and strategic stability in Europe with Biden and Putin, and then with all other stakeholders. The statement did not name those stakeholders, but said Macron would work with them to prepare the content of these discussions.
The Elysée claimed both Biden and Putin agreed to the summit “on principle.”
Biden has agreed “in principle” to a meeting with Putin as long as Russia does not further invade Ukraine, according to a statement from White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
CNN has reached out to the Kremlin to ask about the agreement in principle for a summit, but did not receive an immediate response.
The Elysée said the content of the summit will be prepared by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during their planned meeting on Feb. 24. CNN is yet to confirm this assertion from the French presidency.
44 min agoPresident Biden agrees to meet with Putin “in principle” as long as Russia does not invade UkraineFrom CNN’s Sam Fossum and Arlette Saenz
(Getty Images)President Joe Biden has agreed “in principle” to a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin as long as Russia does not further invade Ukraine, according to a statement from White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
This potential summit, according to an Elysee Palace statement, was proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron.
The meeting, according to Psaki, would happen after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov meet on Feb. 24.
“President Biden accepted in principle a meeting with President Putin following that engagement, again, if an invasion hasn’t happened,” Psaki said in a written statement on Sunday night.
“We are always ready for diplomacy. We are also ready to impose swift and severe consequences should Russia instead choose war. And currently, Russia appears to be continuing preparations for a full-scale assault on Ukraine very soon.”57 min agoSatellite imagery shows Russian ground forces dispersing to positions close to the Ukraine borderFrom CNN’s Tim Lister in Kyiv and Paul Murphy
A satellite image shows an overview of helicopter deployments at Valuyki, Russia on February 20. (Maxar Technologies)New satellite imagery shows intensified activity among Russian units close to Ukraine’s northeastern border, with units that were in garrisons appearing to take up field positions.
The satellite images were collected by Maxar on Sunday.
Maxar assesses that “multiple new field deployments of armored equipment and troops have been observed northwest of Belgorod and near Soloti and Valuyki, Russia.”
These towns are within 35 kilometers (around 21 miles) of the Russian border with Ukraine.
Maxar observes, “This new activity represents a change in the pattern of the previously observed deployments of battle groups (tanks, armored personnel carriers, artillery and support equipment). Until recently, most of the deployments had been seen primarily positioned at or near existing military garrisons and training areas.”
“Today (Sunday) most of the combat units and support equipment at Soloti have departed and extensive vehic
Macron spoke with Putin for second time on Sunday
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