Biden accepts Putin’s request for Ukraine phone call


This is the second conversation between the two leaders in the past three weeks. Ahead of Thursday’s call, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke wednesday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the foreign policy chiefs of the UK, France and Germany. Discussions with these leaders aim to “make it clear that the United States will not negotiate on the future of Ukraine or borders in Europe behind the backs of leaders in the region,” according to US officials speaking to The New York Times.

It is a deliberate departure from the previous administration’s diplomatic approach, intended to reassure European leaders that the United States remains an ally, while Putin apparently intends to return to the old bilateral balance of power of the Cold War, in which the United States and the USSR made all the decisions. . Putin will likely try to get Biden to promise that he would prevent Ukraine from joining NATO and that the organization would never put offensive weapons there.

According to NYT A source in the administration, Biden will tell Putin in Thursday’s appeal that “for us to come to a place where we have security and stability in Europe, a context of de-escalation rather than escalation will be necessary.” That is, move away from the Ukrainian border. “We continue to be gravely concerned about the nature of the presence of Russian troops there and the capabilities available to them,” said the senior administration official.

As for Putin, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Putin had asked for the appeal because of the “extremely complicated” between the United States and Russia. “Since the last conversation (between Putin and Biden), the Russian side has formulated its position, as promised by President Putin, it has been exposed in two draft documents which have been brought to the attention of Washington and some capitals European. Therefore, in view of President Putin, it is necessary to have another conversation before the aforementioned (January) talks, ”Peskov added.

Peskov refers to the talks offered on January 10 in Geneva in which US and Russian officials will meet. It will be headed by the State Department, likely Assistant Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, and representatives from the Pentagon and the National Security Council will complement the US delegation.

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