The Kremlin welcomed Biden's call for talks, criticizing the sanctions

The Kremlin welcomed Biden's call for talks, criticizing the sanctions

The Kremlin said Friday that it was "good news" that US President Joe Biden wanted talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin but criticized the United States over sanctions on Moscow.

Biden's offer came at a summit of leaders earlier this week as tensions between Russia and the West over the Ukraine conflict escalated and Washington faced new sanctions. Had to

On Friday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin had long talked about the importance of normalizing relations between Moscow and Washington.

"He has repeatedly said that we are ready to take our dialogue to the extent that our counterparts are ready for it," he said.

"It's really good that both heads of state agree on that."

But Peskov also blew up a new round of fines imposed by Washington in Moscow on Thursday, saying US "addiction to sanctions is unacceptable."

A Kremlin spokesman noted that Putin had suggested last month that he and Biden had held virtual talks, which did not work out because Washington had not responded.

He said the Kremlin was still considering Biden's offer for a summit, as Finnish President Solih Ninistستو offered his country a possible venue on Friday.

Earlier this week, Ninistستو said he and Putin had spoken and discussed a "planned meeting" with Biden.

Tensions between Washington and Moscow have been rising sharply in recent weeks, with Russia occupying Ukraine's northern and eastern borders and annexing the Crimean peninsula in 2014.

In response, US forces in Europe raised their alert, while NATO issued a warning to Moscow.

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Despite calls to ease tensions, Washington angered Moscow on Thursday by imposing a new round of sanctions on Russia over alleged electoral interference and hacking.

The fines increased restrictions on Russian banks trading with US banks, deported 10 diplomats, including alleged spies, and cleared 32 people in 2020 for allegedly interfering in the US presidential vote.

Biden on Thursday described the sanctions as a "scale and proportionate" response to Moscow's opposition to the United States and said Washington was "not trying to end the cycle of escalation and conflict." ۔

The Kremlin responded Thursday by saying it would not "help" plans for a possible summit.

But analysts say that although sanctions are the toughest in many years, they pose no threat to the Kremlin.

The Renaissance Investment Bank said in an analyst's note on Friday that "there was some relief in the Russian market" because the sanctions were "moderate".

Sanctions imposed on Moscow as a tool of punishment have become commonplace since 2014, when Russia occupied Crimea and fighting broke out in eastern Ukraine between Kiev's forces and pro-Russian separatists.

Washington has recently soured relations by accusing Moscow of interfering in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections.

This year, even before the recent threat of a Ukraine conflict, tensions escalated when the United States imposed sanctions on Russia for poisoning imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

Relations then targeted Biden last month, who promised to take a stronger line on Moscow than his predecessor Donald Trump, agreeing with Putin's statement as a "killer."

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