Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin Flash 90

The Kremlin on Wednesday responded to US President Joe Biden’s proposal for a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying that such a meeting would be dependent on Washington’s cancelling the imposition of new sanctions on Russia.

During a Tuesday phone call, Biden suggested the summit as a way for the estranged countries – last month Russia recalled its Washington ambassador after Biden described Putin as a “killer” – to work on disputed issues. He also urged Russia to reduce its military build-up on the Ukrainian border which has escalated an already tense situation between the two nations.

The Russian government stated that the troop built-up is a three-week long military drill to counter “threatening behaviour” from NATO, specifying that the drill will end within two weeks, according to Reuters.

A spokesperson for Putin was quoted by the state-run RIA news agency stating that the summit would only take place if American behaviour toward Russia improved, indirectly referring to sanctions.

“Of course, further work on this proposal to meet in a European country will only be possible taking into account an analysis of the actual situation and further steps from our counterparts,” said the spokesperson.