Biden to hold call with Russia’s Putin on Thursday

Biden to hold call with Russia’s Putin on Thursday

Dec 30, 2021: The White House says Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin will speak by telephone on Thursday, ahead of security talks between the United States and Russia next month amid heightened tensions over Ukraine.

This will be the second telephone call between the two leaders in less than a month, in which Biden warned Putin in early December that there would be “serious consequences” if Russia invaded Ukraine.

The announcement comes days after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russian diplomats and military officials would take part in talks with the United States in January on a list of security guarantees Moscow wants from Washington.

Biden, who is at his home in Delaware for the New Year’s holiday, will speak to Putin on Thursday about “a range of topics, including upcoming diplomatic engagements with Russia,” said Emily Horne, spokeswoman for the National Security Council.

“The Biden administration continues to engage in extensive diplomacy with our European allies and partners, consulting and coordinating on a common approach in response to Russia’s military build-up on the border with Ukraine,” she said in a statement.

Tensions between Russia and the West have been rising in recent weeks as the Russian government has deployed tens of thousands of troops along the country’s border with Ukraine. The military deployment – the second such move this year – has raised fears that Moscow is plotting an imminent attack on its neighbor. But the Kremlin has denied that it intends to invade Ukraine. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken spoke with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky on Wednesday.

In a possible move to ease tensions, senior US and Russian officials plan to meet in Geneva on January 10. The meeting came as Russia presented proposals to the United States, including demands that NATO not extend eastward or establish bases in the former Soviet republics.

The United States has called some Russian positions “non-starter” but said it was ready to talk and would address its concerns.

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