#Politico named possible places for the Putin-Biden meeting, including Baku

10:56, Thursday, 06 May, 2021
#Politico named possible places for the Putin-Biden meeting, including Baku

As President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin prepare for a potential face-to-face meeting, their aides are trying to nail down the best location for what could prove a tense affair. They already have offers from several other countries eager to host. But they’re finding that — for reasons ranging from recent wars to the jaw-dropping performance of a certain former U.S. president — there are few ideal options.
     Former U.S. officials and analysts say a dark horse candidate shouldn’t be ruled out. Among the possibilities: Reykjavik, the Icelandic capital; Prague, capital of the Czech Republic; Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia; and maybe, just maybe, the Azerbaijani capital, Baku.

Some U.S. officials and outside analysts say Iceland could be a potential venue. Iceland may be slightly trickier to reach than some of the other countries. There's also the issue of it being a longtime NATO member. Plus, there is currently an active volcano spewing lava in an area visible from Reykjavik.

Baku would also be something of a trek, especially for the U.S. side. But while Azerbaijan has solid relations with both Washington and Moscow, and it would be an out-of-the-box choice, the odds are low that Biden would go there. One reason: last year’s brief war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

A Biden visit to Baku would likely offend Armenia, as well as many Armenian-Americans. Biden recently pleased many in that community by formally recognizing the Armenian genocide of the early 20th century.In mid-April, a Czech Republic official was reported to have offered to host Putin and Biden. But that invitation may no longer be in effect because relations between Prague and Moscow have since taken a nosedive.

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