Biden rules out talks with Putin

File Image of USA President Joe Biden
File Image of USA President Joe Biden

Washington: US President Joe Biden ruled out talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at the upcoming G20 summit at Indonesia, saying “there is no rationale to meet with him now”.

Asked during a CNN interview whether he would meet Putin at the summir, Biden said he didn’t see a good reason for a sit-down.

“It would depend on specifically what he wanted to talk about,” Bhe said, adding if Putin wanted to discuss the jailed American basketball star Brittney Griner, then he would be open to talking.

“He’s acted brutally... I think he’s committed war crimes. And so, I don’t, I don’t see any rationale to meet with him now.”

Biden said threats arising from Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine is a “miscalculation “that could lead to catastrophic consequences close on the heels of his earlier warning that the world ran a risk of “nuclear Armageddon”.

President Biden told CNN that “threats emanating from Russia could result in catastrophic “mistakes” and “miscalculation,” even as he declined to spell out how precisely the US would respond if Putin deploys a tactical nuclear device on the battlefield in Ukraine.

When asked whether the Putin would use a tactical nuclear weapon, a prospect US officials have watched with concern as Russian troops suffer embarrassing losses on the battlefield, Biden said: “I don’t think he will... I think it’s irresponsible for him to talk about it, the idea that a world leader of one of the largest nuclear powers in the world says he may use a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine.”

He said even Putin’s threats have a destabilizing effect, and warned of the potential errors in judgment that could ensue.

“The whole point I was making was it could lead to just a horrible outcome,” he told CNN. “And not because anybody intends to turn it into a world war or anything, but just once you use a nuclear weapon, the mistakes that can be made, the miscalculations, who knows what would happen.”

Putin “in fact, cannot continue with impunity to talk about the use of a tactical nuclear weapon as if that’s a rational thing to do”, Biden said.

“The mistakes get made. And the miscalculation could occur, no one can be sure what would happen and could end in Armageddon.”

The President refused to disclose what a US response would look like should Putin follow through on his nuclear threats. But he said the Department of Defence had proactively developed contingencies should the scenario come to pass.

Biden said he believed Putin is a “rational actor” who nonetheless badly misjudged his ability to invade Ukraine and suppress its people.

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