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World Socialist Web Site - February 21, 2022

Amid a pandemic that has killed nearly one million people in the US and continues to kill more than 2,300 every day, the Biden administration is focusing all attention on an increasingly hysterical campaign for war with Russia.

Late Sunday night, it was reported that US President Joe Biden had agreed “in principle” to hold a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the situation in Ukraine at an unspecified time in the future.

In its report on the planned summit, the Washington Post wrote, “Although senior U.S. officials say they believe that Putin has made a decision to invade, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement that U.S. officials ‘are committed to pursuing diplomacy until the moment an invasion begins.’ She confirmed that Biden accepted the invitation—‘again, if an invasion hasn’t happened.’”

This statement is absurd. If Putin had already decided to invade, as Biden claimed at his press conference on Friday, Putin would not be inviting Biden to a summit. Can one seriously believe that having given the final go-ahead to a vast military operation, Putin can simply shut it down with a wave of his hand?

In its report of the planned meeting, the New York Times wrote that “one senior White House official said there were no plans for either the format or timing of a meeting between the two leaders. Another official called it all completely notional, and said that all evidence suggests Russia still intends to invade Ukraine in the coming days.”

The initiative for the summit, moreover, did not come from the US, but from discussions between Putin and French President Emanuel Macron held over the weekend.

According to the Times account:

Mr. Macron’s outreach to Russia began with the Sunday morning telephone call with Mr. Putin, during which the two leaders agreed on “the need to prioritize a diplomatic solution to the current crisis” and to secure a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine in the coming hours, according to a statement from Mr. Macron’s office.

The statement added that, “if the conditions are met,” a diplomatic path should allow for “a meeting at the highest level in order to define a new peace and security order in Europe.”

Mr. Macron later talked to Mr. Biden by telephone.

A second statement from Mr. Macron’s office said that the French president had proposed a summit between Mr. Biden and Mr. Putin “and then with relevant stakeholders to discuss security and strategic stability in Europe.”

But by late Sunday night, it remained unclear just how significant the new efforts to avert a major war in Europe had been.

All of this makes clear that the discussions between Macron and Putin were not wanted by the United States, which is determined on provoking a conflict and preempting any effort to stop a war. ...
Read full statement at World Socialist Web Site