White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Sunday that President Joe Biden "accepted in principle" a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Psaki's confirmation of a potential Biden-Putin summit followed a statement by the Elysee Palace in France saying the two presidents have "accepted in principle" a virtual meeting brokered by French President Emmanuel Macron, who held separate phone calls with Biden and Putin on Sunday.
Psaki said the summit would happen after a meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov next week, provided that Russia will not invade Ukraine.
"We are always ready for diplomacy," she said in the statement. "We are also ready to impose swift and severe consequences should Russia instead choose war."
The latest development came as the United States has kept claiming Russia could invade its neighbor at any time, while Russia has denied any such plans, accusing Washington of "hysteria."
The Blinken-Lavrov meeting, agreed previously by the two sides, will take place on Thursday in Europe.