The U.S. and Russian national security advisers held wide-ranging talks on Monday in what both sides described as an important step in preparing for a possible summit between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev discussed a range of issues at their Geneva meeting, with a focus on strategic stability, according to the White House and the Russian Security Council, quoted by the TASS news agency.
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"The meeting was an important step in the preparation for a planned U.S.-Russia summit, the date and location of which will be announced later," the White House said.
"The sides expressed confidence that mutually acceptable solutions could be found in a number of areas," it said.
The two sides said normalization of U.S.-Russian ties would be in the interests of both countries.
Biden said this month he expected to meet Putin soon, adding that differences between the two countries would not need to be resolved in advance of a summit.
The Biden administration would like to add a summit with Putin in a third country while the U.S. president is in Europe in mid-June for a Group of Seven meeting in Britain and talks with NATO allies in Brussels.
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A Swiss newspaper reported on Monday the two leaders will meet in Switzerland, citing unidentified sources.
The Tages-Anzeiger daily reported an advance U.S. mission has already arrived in Geneva for that purpose. Plane spotters reported on Twitter an unusual U.S. cargo aircraft landing at the city's airport on Sunday. (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin in Moscow and Doina Chiacu in Washington; Editing by Mark Heinrich)