Czech Deputy PM Hamáček offers Prague for a possible Biden–Putin summit

It would be the first major international event held in Prague since Obama met Medvedev in 2010.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 14.04.2021 14:17:00 (updated on 16.04.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

A summit meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin could take place in Prague, but a Russian spokesman has called the speculation about the event “premature.”

Czech Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamáček, who has temporarily taken over the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has offered to make Prague available for a summit that Biden suggested in a telephone conversation with Putin on Tuesday. A similar offer to host the event has been made by Finland.

During the telephone call with Putin, Biden offered to hold a summit in a third country in the coming months. According to the foreign press agencies, he made the offer to build a stable and predictable relationship with Russia. The two presidents also discussed the growing tensions between Moscow and Ukraine. 

“I responded to the announcement by President Biden, who called for a personal meeting with President Putin in a third country. I have instructed our ambassadors in Washington and Moscow to offer Prague as a possible meeting place, following on from the Obama-Medvedev summit. But everything is at the beginning,” Hamáček said on Twitter.

A meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev took place in Prague on April 8, 2010, and was the last such major political event of international importance in the the Czech Republic. The presidents at Prague Castle signed the New START treaty on the reduction of nuclear arsenals. Obama also gave a speech in front the Castle at Hradčanské náměstí.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Wednesday said discussions on the date, place, and possible agenda of the US–Russian summit were premature.

"It is too early to talk about this meeting in a concrete way. It is a new proposal, we will assess and analyze it," Peskov said.

According to news agency Interfax, the spokesman did not answer a question about whether Moscow will demand an apology from Biden over an earlier comment warning that Russia would pay for interfering in the U.S. election. "I will leave this question without comment," Peskov said.

Peskov said the two presidents agreed that the meeting would continue to be discussed through diplomatic channels.  

Finland, which hosted a July 16, 2018, meeting between Putin and Donald Trump, has already offered to be ready to host another summit, news agency TASS reported. The offer was made before Tuesday’s phone conversation between Biden and Putin.

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