Baku among potential venues for next Biden-Putin meeting
Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, is among the cities considered for a meeting between US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. According to US political magazine Politico, Azerbaijan’s largest city would suit Washington’s plans for the June meeting.
According to PoliticoPresident Biden may request a face-to-face meeting with President Putin during his European tour where he will meet with NATO, G-7 and European Union leaders in mid-June.
Former U.S. officials and analysts are confident Biden could meet his Russian counterpart somewhere in Europe during this visit to the region. Earlier, CNN quoted Biden’s security adviser Jake Sullivan as saying the plans were under discussion in Washington, as the White House was trying to do. plans for a meeting this summer. However, according to Sullivan, no date or location has yet been confirmed.
Politico suggests Reykjavik, the Icelandic capital; Prague, capital of the Czech Republic; Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia; and the Azerbaijani capital Baku, as cities likely to host the Biden-Putin meeting.
Baku has already hosted three meetings between senior NATO and Russian military officials. the first meeting between the chairman of the alliance’s military committee, General Petr Pavel and the Chief of General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces and the First Deputy Minister of Defense, General Valery Gerasimov, took place on September 7, 2017 Discussions between NATO and Russian officials in Baku continued second meeting in the presence of Gerasimov and General Curtis Scaparrotti, Supreme Commander of NATO’s Allied Forces in Europe, April 19, 2018. Another Scaparrotti-Gerasimov Meet in the capital of Azerbaijan was held on December 12, 2018.
NATO and the Russian Defense Ministry then said in separate statements that the generals discussed military exercises and troop movements carried out by both sides. Meetings focused on mutual accusations of risky deployments in the Baltic States and Eastern Europe, media say reports.
Analysts stress the importance of Baku as a neutral platform for such meetings. Alexei Sinitsyn, a chief expert from the Azerbaijani Foundation for Progress, said that although Azerbaijan is a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, the country has developed close ties with Moscow and Western capitals.
“The situation in Baku is still stable, benevolent and any unexpected political excess is practically ruled out. It is difficult to find the best place for such meetings, ”said Sinitsyn Explain.
Azerbaijan is not a member of NATO or of the Collective Security Treaty Organization of the Russian-led military bloc. The country has joined and currently chairs the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), an international organization that rejects formal alignment with or against any major power bloc or group of countries. With 120 members, 17 observer states and 10 international observer organizations, NAM is the second largest organization in the world after the United Nations.
“Azerbaijan and Russia are strategic partners. Relations between Baku and Washington are also strategic. The fact that Azerbaijan has been chosen to organize these high-level meetings and discuss important issues is a testament to the deep confidence of each side. [in Azerbaijan], “Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, Khalaf Khalafov mentionned during the briefing of the Scaparrotti-Gerasimov meeting in Baku in December 2018.