The 50-minute phone call between Biden and Putin ended to discuss the military tension linked to Ukraine.
Biden urged Putin to “reduce tension with Ukraine,” stressing that “the United States and its allies and partners will respond decisively if Russia invades Ukraine again.”
Biden stressed that he “supports the diplomatic path with Russia, but progress needs to be reduced,” expressing his support for this path, which will begin early next year through the bilateral dialogue for strategic stability through the NATO-Russia Council and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
For his part, Putin expressed his satisfaction with the phone call, but warned the US President against imposing new sanctions on his country amid tension with Ukraine, according to what the Kremlin announced.
Putin’s foreign policy adviser, Yuri Ushakov, said the Kremlin was generally “comfortable” with the talks, but the Russian president told Biden that Moscow needed to produce tangible “results” in the upcoming security talks, warning against imposing sanctions on his country.
Ushakov added during a virtual press conference that imposing sanctions “would be a grave mistake. We hope that does not happen.”
With the Russian-American talks approaching on January 10 in Geneva, Moscow has said that its first priority is to negotiate two treaties that redefine the security balance and security architecture in Europe.
The Kremlin believes that Russia’s security requires preventing any expansion of NATO to the east and putting an end to Western military activities in Russia’s vicinity, an area that Moscow considers its sphere of influence.
Moscow considers that only the fulfillment of these two requirements can allow the escalation of tension to be contained. In particular, it sees the support of the United States, NATO and the European Union for Ukraine as a direct threat to its security and interests.
On the other hand, National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne explained that Biden continues to consult with his “allies and partners,” and US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, had a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday.
“I received assurances of the full support of the United States of Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression,” Zelensky wrote on Twitter following the call.
Blinken and his European counterparts discussed “coordination to deter any further Russian aggression against Ukraine” and stressed the “consensus” between them on “imposing enormous consequences and a heavy cost on Russia” if it launched an attack on Ukraine.
In a previous phone call earlier this month, Biden had threatened his Russian counterpart with sanctions “the like of which he has never seen before” in the event of an invasion of Ukraine.
Westerners have so far ruled out any military response to a Russian attack, while the Kremlin has shown no heed to threats of sanctions.
Russia is subject to economic sanctions against the backdrop of the Ukrainian file and the suppression of the internal opposition, but none of these measures led the Kremlin to change its policy, on the contrary.
For its part, Russia denies that it threatens Ukraine, even though it invaded it in 2014 and annexed the Crimea. In return, it stresses that it wants to protect itself from the hostility of Westerners who support Kiev, especially in its conflict with the pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country.
In an indication of the difficulty of the upcoming Geneva talks on Ukraine and strategic stability, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov ruled out any “concession”.
The United States had previously warned that some of the Russian demands were “unacceptable”.
The talks, which will be led by US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, with her Russian counterpart, Sergei Ryabkov, will be followed by a Russian-Atlantic meeting on January 12, and then on January 13 by a meeting within the framework of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
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