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Putin, Biden likely to address security system in Europe amid Ukrainian issue, says expert

MOSCOW, December 7. / TASS /. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Joe Biden, during the upcoming talks, will likely focus on the European security system amid the recent developments in Ukraine, Research Director of the Valdai International Discussion Club Fyodor Lukyanov told TASS, noting that the US’ acceptance of the need for changes in this field would be a success.

“The main topic currently remains the same. Generally speaking, [it is] the security system in Europe, which is specifically connected with Ukraine. This is probably the main thing they will talk about,” the Russian expert noted. At the same time, Lukyanov is unsure that the talks are going to be constructive, since “there is not the right atmosphere.”

At the same time, the expert was not surprised by the US president’s words about the non-recognition of the red lines regarding Ukraine. “There is no great power that publicly accepts any red lines. Naturally, Biden could not say anything else,” Lukyanov said.

Furthermore, the Russian expert views the prospects for further discussion of the need for changes in Europe’s security system as the key issue.

“In other words, if Biden recognizes that such a challenge exists – since the Americans still believe that there is no such problem and the only problem is Russia’s behavior – then one can say that this summit was a success,” the research director went on to say. “And after that, we can probably expect <…> the establishment of some kind of dialogue, a channel of communication, a working group to address this issue. And if not, then there was no constructive [dialogue] at all and [the sides] exchanged ultimatums,” Lukyanov mentioned. Meanwhile, as the expert noted, one should not expect that any documents will be adopted, as it is still uncertain “whether an appropriate agenda is going to be established at all.”

“And, probably, <…> they will touch upon the topics that were agreed at the Geneva summit, namely cybersecurity and arms control. However, the main focus of the talks is connected with the developments in Eastern Europe,” the Russian expert concluded.

About the talks

The negotiations between Putin and Biden will take place on December 7 via video linkup. The Russian president will be in Sochi. Earlier, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov noted that the presidents would address the Ukrainian conflict, the advancement of NATO to the Russian borders and Putin’s initiative on security guarantees. Recently, some Western countries, as well as Kiev, made some statements about Russia’s allegedly possible ‘invasion’ of Ukraine. Moscow castigated this information as empty and groundless.

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