The Kremlin said Monday on the eve of talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Joe Biden that Moscow is not expecting “breakthroughs”, as tensions rise over Ukraine.
The two leaders are expected to discuss a range of issues on Tuesday in the evening Russia time by secure video link, after weeks of Washington accusing Moscow of planning an invasion of ex-Soviet Ukraine.
“It’s difficult to expect breakthroughs from the talks,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to Russian news agencies.
“Therefore let’s at least hope that the leaders will be able to convey their concerns to each other,” he said.
“Although our bilateral relations are still in a very sad state, there is still a revival, dialogue is beginning in some areas.”
Washington and Kiev say Russia has massed tens of thousands of troops near Ukraine’s borders and could launch an invasion next month.
Ahead of Tuesday’s talks, the White House said Biden will underscore Washington’s concerns with Russian military activities on the border.
Russia has denied the accusations and said it is concerned about what it says is a Ukrainian mobilisation totalling half its army near two regions in the country’s east held by pro-Moscow separatists.
Kiev and its Western allies accuse Moscow of sending arms and troops to support the rebels, who seized the territory in 2014 shortly after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine.
The long-simmering conflict has claimed the lives of more than 13,000 people.
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