Joe Biden has said that he has “no intent” of sitting with Putin to address Ukraine at the forthcoming G20 summit in Bali, except if the Russian leader first approaches him to address problems like the release of Brittney Griner, a WNBA star who is presently detained in Russia.
During an interview with Jake Tapper from CNN on Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden discussed the many problems that are affecting relations between the United States and Russia. He also condemned allegations that Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to just use nuclear weapons in this ongoing military conflict in Ukraine.
Biden said, “Look, I have had no plans to speak with him,” when he was asked whether he would be ready to meet with the Russian leader now at the G20 conference in November. But for instance, if he approached me at the Summit and said, “I want to speak about the freeing of Griner,” I would meet with him to discuss the matter. I guess it would depend.”
Brittney Griner, a prominent player in the Women’s National Basketball Association and an Olympic gold winner, was held in February at a Moscow airport for carrying vape cartridges loaded with cannabis oil. The reason for the detention was a violation of the airport’s drug policy. On August 4, a Russian court accepted Griner’s guilty plea to the allegations of narcotics possession, and he was subsequently sentenced to 9 years in jail for his actions.
The President continued by saying that neither he, “nor is anybody else,” was willing to negotiate with Moscow over anything having to do with Ukraine, and that as a result, a meeting between the leaders of both countries would be contingent on “exactly what [Putin] wants to speak about.”
“He has behaved in a cruel manner. In my opinion, he has engaged in illegal military activity. As a result, there is no need for me to engage with him at this time,” the leader of the United States said.
Since Russia began its military action in Ukraine around late February, Vice President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin have not had a direct conversation with one another. Earlier, Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia would be open to the idea of holding such a meeting; however, the Kremlin has not yet received a request from the United States government.
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