Face-to-face for more than two hours, President Joe Biden confronted Russian President Vladimir Putin Secure video call On Tuesday, the President of the United States reminded Moscow that the invasion of Ukraine would bring sanctions and great harm to the Russian economy.
Have tens of thousands of Russian troops gather at the Ukrainian borderAt a time when the United States and Western allies are increasingly concerned that Russia poses a threat to its neighbors, the highly anticipated call between the two leaders has emerged.
As far as Putin is concerned, he attended the meeting to seek assurance from Biden NATO military alliance will never expand to include Ukraine, Has been seeking membership for a long time. The Americans and their NATO allies stated that this requirement is impossible.
Since the United States emphasized diplomacy and the need to ease the situation, and issued severe threats to Russia regarding the consequences of the invasion, it seems that there was no immediate breakthrough to ease the tension in the Ukraine issue.
US National Security Adviser Jack Sullivan said after the call that Biden “directly told President Putin that if Russia further invades Ukraine, the United States and our European allies will take strong economic measures to respond.”
He added that Biden stated that the United States will also “provide Ukrainians with additional defensive materials… We will strengthen our NATO allies in the east wing to deal with this escalation.”
The adviser said this may include sending additional US troops to NATO allies in Eastern Europe.
Senior U.S. envoy Victoria Newland said that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would also endanger the disputed pipeline between Russia and Germany. She told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday that if Russia invades, “our expectation is that the pipeline will be suspended.”
Putin’s foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov, rejected the threat of sanctions during a conference call with reporters.
“When the president of the United States talked about possible sanctions, our president emphasized the needs of Russia,” Ushakov said. “Sanctions are nothing new. They have been around for a long time and will not have any impact.”
He described the president’s video conference as “frank and pragmatic” and added that they exchanged jokes occasionally.
In a short clip broadcast on Russian state television, the two leaders extended friendly greetings to each other.
“Mr. President, I welcome you,” Putin said, with a Russian flag behind him and a video monitor showing Biden in front of him. “It’s nice to see you again!” Biden replied with a smile. He noticed that Putin was absent from the recent G20 summit in Rome-Putin was suspended via a video link because of concerns about COVID-19-and said: “I hope to attend in person next time I meet.”
At the White House, Sullivan said, “This is a useful meeting”, allowing Biden to bluntly expound the US position.
As the Presidents of the United States and Russia have negotiated, Ukraine is increasingly anxious about the tens of thousands of Russian troops deployed near its borders. Ukrainian officials accused Russia of sending tanks and snipers to war-torn eastern Ukraine to “provoke a counterattack” and provide an excuse for a potential invasion, thereby further exacerbating the smoldering crisis.
According to a government official who asked not to be named, US intelligence officials were unable to independently verify this allegation. But the official said that the White House directly raised concerns with the Russians about “appealing to their old scripts” by trying to provoke the Ukrainians.
The Kremlin said in a reading after the call: “Putin emphasized that it was wrong to put the blame on Russia, because NATO has been making dangerous attempts to expand its presence in Ukrainian territory and has been expanding its military potential close to the Russian border.”
The Kremlin said that the Russian leader also proposed to abolish all restrictions on diplomatic missions and help normalize other aspects of bilateral relations. Sullivan said the leaders will instruct their staff to continue negotiations on this.
Leader-to-leader talk-Biden speaking in the White House situation room, Putin speaking in Sochi’s residence-is one of the most important conversations during Biden’s presidency, and it happened at a dangerous moment. US intelligence officials have determined that Russia has assembled 70,000 soldiers near the Ukrainian border and is preparing for a possible invasion early next year.
Sullivan said that the United States believes that Putin has not yet made a final decision to invade.
Biden became vice president in 2014 when Russian troops entered the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea and annexed the area from Ukraine. Aides said that the Crimean incident-one of the darkest moments for US President Barack Obama on the international stage-was particularly prominent when Biden looked at the current smoldering crisis.
In Washington politics, Republicans viewed this moment as a critical test of Biden’s leadership on the global stage. After President Donald Trump emphasized the “America First” foreign policy, Biden vowed to reaffirm the leadership of the United States as a candidate. But Republicans say that he has failed to slow down Iran’s pace of becoming a nuclear power, and has done too little to confront authoritarian leaders including China’s Xi Jinping and Putin.
“Colleagues in Beijing and Tehran will pay attention to the reaction of the free world,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in the Senate before the Biden-Putin meeting.
Sullivan said that Biden and Putin “have a very good discussion on the Iran issue” and said that this is an area where the two countries can cooperate.
“Iran has shown a lack of seriousness at the negotiating table,” he said, adding that there is a sense of solidarity between the United States and the parties to the 2015 nuclear agreement, including Russia and the European Union.
Trump showed unusual respect for Putin during his presidency. He said in a statement: “Vladimir Putin watched our poor surrender in Afghanistan, leaving behind the dead soldiers, American citizens and worth 850 Million-dollar military equipment. Then he looked at Biden. He was not in a hurry!”
Prior to Putin’s call, Biden talked with the leaders of Britain, France, Germany and Italy on Monday to coordinate the transmission of information and possible sanctions. He also talked to them again after the call and informed them of the result. Biden is also expected to hold talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday.
Analysts agree that Putin clearly sees the current situation as an opportunity to re-adjust the power dynamics in US-Russian relations.
In addition to Ukraine, there are many other thorny issues on the table, including cyber attacks and human rights. Before the call, Kremlin spokesman Peskov stated that US-Russian relations are generally in a “quite bad state.”
“Russia never planned to attack anyone,” Peskov said. He described the Biden-Putin call as a “work conversation in a very difficult period” when “the escalation of tensions in Europe is beyond scale and extraordinary.”