US President Joe Biden says he hasn’t seen any movement from Russian President Vladimir Putin on the release of American women’s basketball star Brittney Griner.
“Not from Putin,” Biden said when questioned whether he’d seen any action on Griner’s case.
Speaking to CNN’s Jake Tapper on Tuesday, Biden said he’d be willing to meet Putin at the upcoming G20 summit in Indonesia if Putin was willing to discuss Griner’s release.
“I have no intention of meeting with him. But for example, if he came to me at the G20 and said I want to talk about the release of Griner, I’d meet with him. I mean, it would depend,” Biden told Tapper in the exclusive CNN interview.
Biden told reporters Wednesday that recent Russian attacks on Ukrainian civilian infrastructure were brutal and “beyond the pale.”
What Russia is saying: A Kremlin aide responded to Biden saying that he has “no intention of meeting” with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying on Wednesday that Moscow “never refuses negotiations and any useful international contacts,” according to state media RIA Novosti.
“We never repel an outstretched hand. If we feel and understand that a partner for one reason or another does not want to meet, we do not impose ourselves,” Putin’s foreign policy aide Yury Ushakov told reporters.
When asked if Putin would attend the G20 summit taking place in November in Indonesia, Ushakov said “there’s still plenty of time” to decide.
“As for G20… It’s still a long way to it, as well as to other meetings (international forums in November), there is still a lot of time. Let’s wait and see,” he said, according to the state media.