President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that he plans to speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin during his upcoming trip to Europe.
In June, Biden will make his first overseas journey, with stops in the United Kingdom and Belgium to attend G7, NATO, and EU summits.
He told reporters on Tuesday that he “hope and expectation” to speak with Putin as well.
“We’re working on it,” he added.
Following a phone call between the two leaders on April 13, the White House stated that Biden suggested a bilateral meeting “in the coming months” in another region. To draw on the extension of the New START nuclear weapons deal, both parties plan to hold strategic talks on arms control and emerging security issues.
Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, told reporters in April that the Biden administration was “increasingly concerned” about Russia’s violence in eastern Ukraine.
Russia invaded Crimea in 2014, prompting former President Barack Obama to prohibit Russia, calling it a “illegitimate move,” with “dangerous risks of escalation.” Skirmishes between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian rebels in the country’s east have killed an estimated 14,000 people since then.
Sommer Brokaw contributed to this report.