The phone conversation lasted 50 minutes: Biden warned Putin

White House: Biden warns Putin

U.S. President Joe Biden has warned Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin of a strong American response to any Russian invasion of Ukraine.

During the conversation, Biden also claimed that de-escalation was needed to reach a diplomatic solution to reduce tensions in the region, the White House said.

The U.S. president “made it clear that the United States and its allies and partners would react decisively if Russia continued to infiltrate Ukraine,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.

Kremlin: Putin is happy with the conversation

Russian President Vladimir Putin was pleased with a telephone conversation with US counterpart Joe Biden, but warned Americans not to impose sanctions amid tensions over Ukraine, the Kremlin said.

Putin’s foreign policy adviser, Yuri Ushakov, said the Kremlin was generally “satisfied” with the talks.

However, he claimed that Putin had told Biden that Moscow needed concrete results from future talks on security guarantees, and that the American president had been warned not to impose new major sanctions on Russia.

“It simply came to our notice then. We hope that this will not happen, “Ushakov told reporters.

Talked for 50 minutes

The conversation, initiated by the Kremlin leader, lasted 50 minutes, according to a White House official in Wilmington, Delaware, where Biden is on his New Year’s holiday.

The second phone call by U.S. and Russian leaders in less than a month reflects intense diplomatic efforts to resolve the dangerously growing confrontation in Eastern Europe.

Prior to this discussion, both sides claimed to be willing to listen to opponents’ arguments. However, a conversation on Thursday that paved the way for the difficult lower-level direct talks in Geneva in January provided little hint as to whether any important compromises were being prepared.

Washington and other Western countries are sounding the alarm bells over the concentration of Russian forces on Ukraine’s borders and accusing Moscow of planning to invade its neighbor this winter. According to the West, up to 100 thousand people are concentrated at the Ukrainian border. Russian soldiers.

„Scanpix“ / ITAR-TASS nuotr./Vladimiras Putinas

In 2014, Moscow has already annexed Ukraine-owned Crimea, and it is accused of providing support to pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine during a conflict that has already claimed more than 13,000 lives. lives.

Putin denies the allegations, accuses the West of fueling tensions and says NATO’s expansion to the east is a threat to Russia’s security, although Ukraine has not been offered membership in the military alliance.

In mid-December, Russia issued security demands addressed to NATO and the United States and called on the US-led NATO not to admit new members or establish military bases in former Soviet countries.

The United States, for its part, rejected the Kremlin’s ambition to dictate the future of independent states. Washington warned that if Moscow sent its forces to Ukraine, Russia would face extremely severe economic sanctions from the US and European Union capitals.

Previous Western sanctions imposed by Western countries following the annexation of Crimea by Moscow have not had a significant tangible effect.

“In the mood to talk”

An official photo released by the White House shows J. Biden wearing a suit sitting at a large wooden table in his home in Wilmington loaded with photos of the family. Behind him hung a framed U.S. flag.

A senior U.S. administration official told reporters earlier Thursday that Biden would stress in an interview that Washington was looking for a “diplomatic path” out of the crisis.

“But we are also ready to respond if Russia attacks and continues to invade Ukraine,” the official said of Biden’s stance.

The official, quoting him, added that Washington remained “seriously concerned” about the concentration of forces near Ukraine and wanted Russian forces to return to “their permanent training areas”.

Imago / Scanpix nuotr./Joe Bidenas

Imago / Scanpix nuotr./Joe Bidenas

In a congratulatory message to the US leader on Thursday, the Russian president said he was convinced that “we can move forward and establish an effective Russia-America dialogue based on mutual respect and consideration for each other’s national interests.”

“We are in the mood for an interview, that’s what we want,” Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov later told reporters.

“We believe that only through negotiations is it possible to solve all the urgent problems that have arisen among us,” the representative said, pointing out that the conversation is being organized on Putin’s initiative.

US support for Ukraine

Russia’s foreign ministry said Thursday that delegations in Geneva will be led by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Riabkov and US Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman.

The United States has called some of Russia’s demands non-negotiable, but has said it is ready to talk and that it will also raise issues of concern to itself.

However, Russia sees the former Soviet republics as its sphere of influence and is increasingly claiming that the only way out of the crisis is to meet its demands. This would transform the entire European security architecture.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has promised that Moscow will follow a “tough line” in defending its interests during the talks in Geneva.

“We will decide on the next steps in accordance with the readiness of the United States and NATO to negotiate in principle the issues that concern us,” Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for Russia’s foreign ministry, told reporters on Thursday.

Kiev seeks to ensure that it is not detached from any broader agreement.

U.S. officials stress that no decision will be made behind the backs of the Ukrainians and that while no U.S. troops will be sent to defend Ukraine, support for Kiev in armaments and other military means would be extended if Moscow were to attack.

The Pentagon said on Tuesday that a battle group of one U.S. aircraft carrier would remain in the Mediterranean to encourage allies in Europe. On Thursday, CNN TV quoted a military as saying a high-powered U.S. reconnaissance plane had flown over Ukraine for the second time this week.

The report says the plane can monitor large areas, track and photograph a variety of objects, from ground vehicles to other aircraft.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken had a telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday ahead of U.S.-Russia talks.

“I was reassured of the US’s full support for Ukraine in repelling Russia’s aggression,” Zelensky wrote on Twitter.

Blinken also spoke separately to his colleagues in the United Kingdom, France and Germany about “coordinating to deter any further Russian aggression against Ukraine,” said Ned Price, a spokesman for the State Department.

According to him, the leaders of Western diplomacy “confirmed the consensus of allies and partners” that Russia’s aggression would have “huge consequences” and would be very costly for it.

The Biden administration has promised to coordinate all actions with its allies in Europe. Following the talks in Geneva, Russian delegates will meet with NATO representatives, followed by a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), an important Cold War forum bringing Moscow and the West together.

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