Biden and Putin, 50 minutes on the phone to avoid war in Ukraine


The presidents of the United States and Russia had a 50-minute telephone conversation on yesterday’s Italian evening in which Vladimir Putin warned his US counterpart Joe Biden that imposing new sanctions on Moscow for the crisis in Ukraine could lead to a complete rupture of relations between Moscow and Washington.

This was reported by the BBC, specifying that in the phone call the Russian president said that such sanctions would be a “colossal mistake”. Biden, in turn, warned Putin that the United States and its allies will respond firmly to any invasion of Ukraine.

The phone call, requested by Russia, was the second such conversation between the two leaders this month and marked the latest effort to defuse tensions on Ukraine’s eastern border with Russia, where Ukrainian officials say they have been sent more than 100,000 Russian soldiers.

This situation has raised concern in the West, with the United States threatening Putin with sanctions “like no one has ever seen” if Ukraine is attacked.

Russia, however, denies that it intends to invade the country and claims that the troops are there for exercises. Moscow claims it has the right to move its troops freely on its own soil.

Although the two sides exchanged warnings during the phone call, Russian foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov told reporters shortly after that Putin was “satisfied” with the conversation, adding that he created a “good background” for future talks.

A senior US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the tone had been “serious and substantive”.

“President Biden reiterated that substantial progress in these talks can only occur in a de-escalation environment,” said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.

“He made it clear that the United States and its allies and partners will respond firmly if Russia invades Ukraine further,” he added.

US and Russian officials will meet for face-to-face talks in Geneva next month, and the White House said Biden has urged his Russian counterpart to pursue a diplomatic solution.

In a holiday message before Thursday’s phone call, Putin told Biden he was “convinced” that the couple can work together on the basis of “mutual respect and consideration of mutual national interests.”

His spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said Moscow was “in the mood for a conversation”.

“We believe that only through talks it is possible to solve all the immediate problems that we have in abundance between us,” added Peskov.


Source: RSS DiariodelWeb.it Esteri by www.diariodelweb.it.

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