Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky is ready to meet with US President Joe Biden before American-Russian summit in Geneva on June 16, but such talks may be impossible due to 'a tight schedule of the US leader,' according to US-based Axios website.
"I believe such consultations should happen face-to-face, because many things just cannot be discussed over the phone," Zelensky said in an interview with Axios. "I understand that due to the US President’s pre-existing plans and his tight schedule they might well not happen, but that choice will be only his to make."
"As the guarantor of the Constitution of Ukraine, I myself am ready to defend Ukraine at any moment and at any spot of the planet, I am ready to meet with him and discuss all those details before his meeting [with Russian President Vladimir Putin]," the Ukrainian president said.
Zelensky also said that the US administration’s representatives did not have consultations with the Ukrainian authorities ahead of the upcoming US-Russia summit, TASS reports.
"Not yet, and I believe that it is up to them," the Ukrainian president said. "However, I do think that it would be a big mistake [not to]."
The Putin-Biden summit in Geneva will be the first top-level meeting between the leaders of the two superpowers since July 2018, when the Russian head of state met with then US President Donald Trump in Helsinki.
According to the Kremlin, the two presidents intend to deliberate on the current state of and prospects for Russian-US relations, strategic stability, as well as pressing global issues, including cooperation in the fight against the pandemic and regulating regional conflicts. On May 30, Biden said that he planned to raise the issue of human rights violations at the Geneva summit.