Biden will hold a weekend conference call with Ukrainian leaders after Putin’s talks

Both sides confirmed that President Biden and his Ukrainian President Zelensky will be talking on the phone on Sunday, after the US leader once again warned that Russia’s Vladimir Putin would respond strongly to any invasion of this Eastern European country. .

Biden said on Friday in his most direct language to date: “I will not negotiate publicly here, but we made it clear that he cannot-I want to emphasize, cannot-invade Ukraine.”

In a brief speech to reporters in Wilmington, Delaware, he added that if Russia invades Ukraine, he has “made it clear to President Putin that we will be severely sanctioned and that we will increase our presence in Europe together with NATO allies. “.

In a phone call with Zelensky on Sunday, a White House official stated that Biden would “reiterate U.S. support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, discuss Russia’s military build-up on the Ukrainian border, and review upcoming diplomatic contacts. Prepare work to help ease the situation. In the region.”

Zelensky wrote on Twitter: “I look forward to talking to @POTUS again this Sunday to coordinate our steps to achieve peace in Ukraine and security in Europe.”

Washington and its European allies accused Russia of threatening the former Soviet territory of Ukraine with a new invasion.

Approximately 100,000 Russian troops gathered near the country’s border. Putin had already occupied the Crimea region in 2014 and was accused of instigating the pro-Russian separatist war that broke out in the east that same year.

Moscow described the garrison as a protective measure against NATO’s expansion, although Ukraine has not yet obtained membership in the military alliance.

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Brinken spoke with NATO Chairman Jens Stoltenberg on Friday; after that, Brinken urged Russia to “significantly participate” in the upcoming tense standoff between Moscow and Western-backed Ukraine Negotiation.

Stoltenberg said NATO “united” and “ready for dialogue.”

One day after Biden warned Putin against invading Ukraine on Thursday, the latest diplomatic push took place, and Kremlin leaders said that anti-Moscow sanctions would be a “huge mistake.”

After 50 minutes of phone calls—this was their second call in more than three weeks—both presidents expressed their support for further diplomacy.

Foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov told reporters that Putin was generally “happy” with the talks.

A senior US official who asked not to be named said the tone was “serious and substantive.”

But before the face-to-face negotiations between senior Russian and US officials on January 10, there was no concealment of the depth of the disagreement—or the high risk of danger on the edge of Eastern Europe.

-The U.S. warns of severe sanctions-

In a reading after the call on Thursday, the Kremlin emphasized that Biden told Putin that the United States would not deploy offensive weapons in Ukraine. However, the White House stated that Biden only reiterated existing policies.

US officials have repeatedly warned that if Russia does further attack Ukraine, Washington and EU capitals will support severe economic sanctions.

The January meeting will allow Russian officials to sit down with negotiators representing the United States, NATO and the OSCE Regional Security Forum, including Washington.

Ukraine wanted to join NATO, but was told that it was far from ready to be accepted, and it aspired not to be excluded from any broader agreement.

U.S. officials have been trying their best to insist that they will not make any decisions behind the Ukrainians. Although they will not send U.S. troops to defend the country against Russia, if Moscow launches an attack, continued weapons and other military assistance will expand.

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