Biden has asked Putin to Ease Tensions over Ukraine
US President Joe Biden called for a de-escalation of tensions with Ukraine during a telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. The two talked for 50 minutes, and Biden outlined the options for calming the situation and a possible invasion of Russia.
Washington has said it is ready to resort to measures such as imposing sanctions, strengthening NATO in Allied countries and providing additional assistance to Kiev in the event of Russian troops entering Ukrainian territory.
According to the White House, during the conversation, the two leaders talked about the importance of having "pragmatic, results-oriented diplomacy".
Washington stressed the benefits of diplomacy, with Biden saying progress during the upcoming Geneva summits in various formats could be "only in an environment of de-escalation instead of escalation".
An official described the tone of the conversation as "serious and substantial".
The representative also commented on Moscow's concerns about NATO expansion, saying:
"Our position is very clear. These are decisions that are made by sovereign states, of course in consultation with the Alliance."
The official also spoke of Moscow holding public talks on the subject, noting that what has proven to be constructive in such cases is holding closed-door talks with allies and Russia.
Putin has warned that new sanctions would be a serious mistake
During his conversation with Vladimir Putin, Joe Biden stressed the special responsibility of Russia and the United States to ensure stability not only in Europe but also around the world.
The US president has made it clear that Washington has no intention of deploying offensive weapons in Ukraine. This is stated in a press release published on the Kremlin's website.
According to the Kremlin's press service, Vladimir Putin said that the large-scale sanctions mentioned by Joe Biden against Russia in the event of escalation around Ukraine would be a serious mistake that would lead to a complete rupture of Russian-American relations.
Putin stressed that as a result of the joint work, Moscow expects to receive firm legal guarantees, excluding further NATO expansion to the east and the deployment of Russian-threatening weapons systems near its borders.
"Our president has emphasized that in the current complex situation, we will behave as the United States would behave if offensive weapons were deployed around the US border," said Yuri Ushakov, an aide to the Russian president.
He described the conversation between Putin and Biden as constructive and added that the two leaders would personally monitor the upcoming Russian-American talks on January 10 in Geneva.
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