KYIV, Ukraine

Amid rising tensions, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba welcomed on Monday the initiative to hold a summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden.

Speaking to reporters in Brussels, Kuleba said he spoke with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the phone, who informed him about the development.

“We hope that the two heads of state will come out of the room with an agreement in which Russia will withdraw its troops from Ukrainian borders. This will be a sign that Russia is ready to reduce tensions,” he said.

“If this does not happen, it means that Russia will continue the logic of escalating tensions,” he added.

Kuleba said there are clear messages that the EU can convey to Russia, showing that Ukraine is not alone.

French President Emmanuel Macron held several phone calls with Putin and Biden on Sunday to de-escalate tensions, and organize a summit to avert war in Ukraine.

Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov has not ruled out a new meeting between the two, but said there are no “concrete plans” yet for such a summit.

The US administration has accused Russia of amassing nearly 150,000 troops along the Ukrainian border, and claimed that Moscow was planning to manufacture a pretext to invade Ukraine in the coming days.

Moscow has repeatedly denied any plan to invade Ukraine and instead accused Western countries of undermining Russia’s security through NATO’s eastward expansion.

*Writing by Beyza Binnur Donmez

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