By AAMERMA DHANI and DASHALIT VINOVA
Washington (AP) — President Joe Biden and Russia’s Vladimir Putin met on Tuesday in a secure video call after the US President informed Moscow that the invasion of Ukraine would cause sanctions and devastating damage to Russia. Economy.
A long-awaited call was made between the two leaders as tens of thousands of Russian troops gathered on the Ukrainian border and US and Western allies were concerned about the threat to Russia’s neighbors.
Putin, as part of him, attended the meeting seeking assurance from Biden that NATO’s military alliance would never expand to include Ukraine, which had long sought accession. Americans and their NATO allies said the request was non-starter.
There seemed to be no immediate breakthrough to ease tensions on Ukraine’s problems, as the United States emphasized the need for diplomacy and escalation and posed a severe threat to Russia on the consequences of the aggression.
“If Russia invades Ukraine further, US and European allies will respond directly to President Putin with strong economic measures,” Biden told US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan. Said after the phone.
Biden also added that the United States “provides additional defensive supplies to Ukrainians … and strengthens its eastern NATO allies with additional capacity to respond to such escalations.”
This could include the additional deployment of US troops to NATO allies in Eastern Europe, the adviser said.
The US Supreme Envoy, Victoria Nuland, said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would also endanger the controversial pipeline between Russia and Germany. She told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday that she “expects the pipeline to be shut down” if Russia invades.
Putin’s diplomatic adviser Yuri Ushakov dismissed the threat of sanctions during a conference call with reporters.
“While the US president was talking about possible sanctions, our president emphasized what Russia needed,” Ushakov said. “The sanctions are not new. The sanctions have been in place for a long time and have no effect.”
He described the president’s video conference as “frank and business-like,” adding that they occasionally made jokes.
In a short excerpt broadcast by Russian National Television, the two leaders gave friendly greetings to each other.
“President, I welcome you,” Putin said with a video monitor showing the Russian flag behind him and Biden in front of him. “I’m glad to see you again!” Biden replied with a laugh. He pointed out that Putin was absent from the recent Group 20 Summit in Rome, and Putin used the park on a video link because of concerns about COVID-19.
At the White House, Sullivan said, “It was a useful meeting,” allowing Biden to lay out in candid terms where the United States stands.
Ukraine has only raised concerns about the tens of thousands of Russian troops deployed near the border, as awarded by the presidents of the United States and Russia. Ukrainian authorities accusing Russia have exacerbated the smoldering crisis by sending tanks and snipers to war-torn eastern Ukraine, “causing a return fire” and giving an excuse for potential aggression.
U.S. intelligence officials were unable to independently verify the accusation, according to government officials who discussed confidential matters on anonymous terms. However, officials said the White House raised direct concerns with the Russians about “relying on their old playbooks” by trying to provoke the Ukrainians.
In the post-call reading, the Kremlin said: Near the border with Russia. “
Russian leaders have also proposed lifting all mutual restrictions on diplomatic missions and helping to normalize other aspects of bilateral relations, the Kremlin said. Mr Sullivan said leaders would instruct staff to continue the negotiations.
A conversation between leaders — Biden speaking from the White House’s Situation Room, Putin from his residence in Sochi — was one of the most important of Biden’s presidency and came at a dangerous time. US intelligence officials have determined that Russia has gathered 70,000 troops near the Ukrainian border to prepare for the possibility of an invasion early next year.
Mr Sullivan said the United States believes Putin has not yet made the final decision on the aggression.
Biden served as Vice President in 2014 when Russian troops marched on the Black Sea Peninsula in the Crimea and merged Ukrainian territory. Looking at Biden’s current crisis, he says the Crimean episode, one of the darkest moments for President Barack Obama on the international stage, is imminent.
Politically in Washington, Republicans are framing this moment as an important test of Biden’s leadership on the global stage. Biden has vowed to be a candidate to reaffirm US leadership after President Donald Trump emphasized “America’s first” foreign policy. However, Republicans say he was ineffective in delaying Iran’s procession to become a nuclear power and did little to counter dictatorial leaders, including China’s Xi Jinping and Putin.
“Fellow authorities in Beijing and Tehran are watching how the free world reacts,” Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell said from the Senate floor before the Biden Putin conference. Said.
Biden and Putin “have had a good discussion on the Iran issue,” Sullivan said, calling it a region where the two countries can work together.
“It shows Iran’s lack of seriousness in the negotiating table,” he said, creating a sense of unity between the United States and the parties to the 2015 nuclear deal, including Russia and the European Union. ..
Trump, who showed extraordinary respect for Putin during his presidency, said in a statement: Then he looks at Biden. He’s not worried! “
Prior to Putin’s call, Biden met with leaders in Britain, France, Germany and Italy on Monday to coordinate the message and potential sanctions. He also spoke with them again following his call to explain the results to them. Biden is also expected to speak with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday.
Analysts agree that Putin seems to see the current situation as a moment to readjust the dynamics of US-Russian power.
Besides Ukraine, there are many annoying problems such as cyber attacks and human rights. Kremlin spokesman Peskov said before the call that US-Russia relations were “quite miserable” overall.
“Russia has never planned to attack,” Peskov said. He characterized Biden Putin’s call as “a conversation that works in very difficult times.”
Litvinova reported from Moscow. Associated Press writers Vladimir Isachenkov of Moscow and Robert Burns, Zeke Miller and Darlene Superville of Washington contributed to this report.
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