Ukraine’s Zelensky proposes three-way summit with Biden and Putin

Ukraine has proposed three-way talks with US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin amid fears of an invasion, Ukraine’s aide to President Volodymyr Zelensky said Friday.

“President Zelensky has proposed to President Biden and we believe that it can work (outside) to organize a trilateral meeting, possibly via videoconferencing, between President Biden, President Zelensky and President Putin,” said Ukraine’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak.

We are still waiting for the reaction to this, I think, from the Russian side. But our American partners are taking our proposal some attention.

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On Tuesday, Zelensky also called for a new summit involving France, Germany and Russia, as Kiev fears an invasion, with some 100,000 Russian troops on its border.

Biden and Putin spoke twice by phone about the tensions, with the US president warning of major economic retaliation if Russia invaded the country.

Yermak praised the Biden administration for regularly briefing Ukraine during a week of diplomacy, including a high-level meeting between the United States and Russia in Geneva on Monday, but said his country needed to be directly involved.

“I think it’s a very proactive stance,” he said.

He added that in the event “the security system in Europe is discussed, it is necessary to involve Ukraine.”

Putin has denied Russia’s plans to invade Ukraine but has issued demands including guarantees that NATO will not expand eastward.

The request was rejected by the United States, although the Europeans made it clear that they were not willing to bring Ukraine into the Western Security Alliance.

On Friday, Ukraine was hit by a major cyber attack, which raised fears that an attack was being prepared.

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