“The main reason for [to go] Relations between our two countries are in bad shape. And a significant level of this relationship that calls for a summit between our two countries because that’s the only way … to prevent further deterioration of our dialogue,” Peskov told CNN.
Next week’s high-stakes summit in Geneva comes as ties between the two countries plunged to a recent new low in the first few months of the Biden administration.
That is why the summit would be “a very good opportunity” to address the concerns of both countries, Peskov said on Friday.
He accused the US of stalling dialogue between the two countries over the past five to seven years “in all areas, including areas important to our people and even mankind, such as [the] fight terror [attacks], climate change, economic cooperation, cooperation in vaccines, in pandemics … they refuse to cooperate with us in combating digital crime, and so on.”
“We have heard from our American counterparts about such a possibility, but we are still waiting for final confirmation, but from the very beginning, President Putin has been open to any option,” Peskov said.
Peskov said Putin was ready to attend a joint press conference or hold a press conference of his own in Geneva.
However, Peskov told CNN that Putin was not planning to engage with Biden on the subject of Navalny – whom Putin never refers to by name.
Asked whether Putin planned not to back down on the issue, a Kremlin spokesman said: “Well, there is nothing to discuss about this gentleman. There is nothing. He is in jail, and he is not on the agenda of our bilateral relations.”
A Moscow court ruled on Wednesday that two organizations linked to Navalny are “extremist” groups – forcing them to shut down and disqualifying their members from participating in upcoming elections. Both groups deny the allegation of militancy.
“We don’t think of a US-Russia summit in terms of deliverables,” National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters this week. “We’re thinking of this as an opportunity to communicate our intentions and capabilities.”
Next Wednesday’s talks will be potentially full of talks for the two leaders, according to US officials, which are expected to include cyberattacks, human rights violations and Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
Despite the deteriorating relationship between the two countries over issues such as Ukraine and election interference, Biden hopes to establish a clear channel of communication that will avoid undue surprises.
Their meeting will mark the end of Biden’s first overseas trip as US president, beginning with a Group of Seven summit at a seaside resort in Cornwall, UK. After the conclusion of the G7 on Sunday, Biden left for Brussels for the NATO summit and then had a meeting with Putin.