Chicago: Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin are expected to discuss the build-up of Russian troops near Ukraine in their second appeal in recent weeks, as progress towards ending the latent crisis is minimal.
Ahead of Thursday’s call, the White House said Biden would make it clear to Putin that a diplomatic channel remains open even as the Russians have moved around 100,000 troops to Ukraine and Putin has stepped up his demands for security guarantees by Eastern Europe.
But Biden will reiterate to Putin that for there to be “real progress” in the talks, they must be conducted in “a context of de-escalation rather than escalation,” according to a senior administration official who informed them. journalists before the call. The official spoke on condition of anonymity.
The call, which was requested by Russian officials, comes as senior US and Russian officials are scheduled to hold talks on January 10 in Geneva. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that Putin will meet with Biden on Thursday, but gave no details.
The official said Biden and Putin, who met in Geneva in June to discuss a range of tensions in US-Russian relations, are not expected to participate in upcoming talks. The two leaders held a video call earlier this month in which their conversation heavily focused on the Russian troop movements that have disrupted Ukraine and other European allies.
In that Dec. 7 video call, the White House said Biden warned Moscow that an invasion of Ukraine would result in sanctions and massive damage to the Russian economy. Russian officials have rejected threats of sanctions.
Representatives from Moscow and NATO are expected to meet soon after the upcoming Geneva talks, as are Russia and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which includes the United States.
Earlier this month, Moscow submitted draft security documents demanding that NATO refuse membership to Ukraine and other countries of the former USSR and cancel its military deployments in central Europe and eastern.
The United States and its allies have refused to offer Russia the kind of guarantees on Ukraine Putin wants, citing NATO’s principle that membership is open to any eligible country. They agreed. however, to have talks with Russia to discuss its concerns.
As Biden prepared for talks with Putin, the administration also sought to underscore the commitment to Ukraine and to convey that Washington is committed to the “nothing-for-you-without-you principle” in the policy making that affects European allies.
State Secretary Antony Blinken held talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday. State Department spokesman Ned Price said Blinken “reiterated the United States’ unwavering support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of the military build-up of Russia on the borders of Ukraine “.
Biden and administration officials also plan to consult with European allies after the president spoke to Putin to offer them a reading of the pledge.
Putin said earlier this week that he would assess a host of options if the West fails to meet his demand for security guarantees that prevent NATO expansion in Ukraine.
In Thursday’s appeal, Biden is expected to stress to Putin that the United States is united with its allies but will demonstrate its willingness to engage in “principled diplomacy” with Russia, the administration official said.
In 2014, Russian troops entered the Black Sea Peninsula in Crimea and took the territory of Ukraine. Russia’s annexation of Crimea – one of President Barack Obama’s darkest moments on the international stage – looms large as Biden seeks to contain the current crisis.
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has made it clear in public comments that the administration is ready to discuss Moscow’s concerns about NATO in talks with Russian officials, but stressed that Washington would not go behind the backs of European allies to shape the policy that concerns them.
The two leaders are also expected during Thursday’s call to discuss efforts to persuade Iran to revert to the 2015 nuclear deal, which was effectively canceled by the Trump administration.
Despite the differences over Ukraine and other issues, White House officials have said the Iran nuclear issue is one they believe the United States and Russia can work cooperatively on.
Biden, who is spending the week in his home state of Delaware, is expected to participate in the appeal from his home near Wilmington.
Russian leader Vladimir Putin was not suddenly going to agree with Joe Biden on everything, but the leaders’ meeting in Geneva was a good start to set the tone on key issues like cybersecurity, the NBC correspondent said and former ambassador. Christophe Colline.