(News with elements on Iran, discussions USA- “E3”)
by Trevor Hunnicutt and Andrea Shalal
WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden will hold talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Thursday, the White House said on Wednesday, as the United States continues to prepare with its European allies a joint response to the deployment by Russia’s soldiers on the Ukrainian border.
A range of subjects will be raised by the two leaders, whose security talks will come between Washington and Moscow, the spokeswoman for the National Security Council of the White House said in a statement.
Joe Biden has spoken with several European leaders about the situation on the Ukrainian border, said Emily Horne, adding that American representatives are changing with NATO, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe ( OSCE).
The Kremlin spokesman for his part told Reuters that the Russian and US presidents were planning to meet “late Thursday evening”. Dmitry Peskov did not give further information.
By deploying tens of thousands of soldiers on the Ukrainian border for two months, Moscow has fueled the concerns of the West and tensions with it.
Russia, which annexed the Crime Peninsula in 2014 and supports Sparatist fighters in Donbass, in eastern Ukraine, denies any plans for an offensive and calls for NATO security guarantees.
Western fears have not subsided in recent weeks, according to a senior representative of the US administration.
“We are in a period of crisis, given the Russian deployment, and it will take a high degree of dialogue to respond to that and find a way out,” he said on condition of anonymity.
The interview was requested by Vladimir Putin, he said. “When President Biden asked to speak to President Putin in the course of 2021, President Putin said yes. And when President Putin said, ‘I wish to get in touch and have a telephone interview,’ President Biden said. Yes”.
THE IRANIAN NUCLEAR, ANOTHER MAJOR ISSUE
It is highly likely that Joe Biden will remind Vladimir Putin of the economic measures of an indiscriminate scale that Washington plans to take against Russia in the event of an invasion of Ukraine, after having warned him during a video conference earlier this this month.
However, the American president continues to lead direct diplomatic efforts to find a way out of the crisis.
Members of the Biden administration “are in intensive dialogue” with Ukraine and NATO allies, said Emily Horne.
The German government said the US, German, French and British foreign ministers discussed the Ukrainian crisis and other issues, including Iranian nuclear.
American and Russian representatives are due to take part on January 10 in discussions on the military activities of their respective countries and the situation in Ukraine, before a meeting on January 12 between Russia and NATO.
Moscow has set a possible accession of Ukraine to NATO as a “red line” and wants guarantees from the Alliance that it will not expand east or deploy offensive weapons systems in the country. the region.
Asked Tuesday about the possibility of a meeting with Vladimir Poutine on January 10, on the sidelines of bilateral security discussions, Joe Biden replied: “We will see”.
According to a senior official in the Biden administration, however, it is not expected that the US president will participate in these discussions or meet with the Russian president on that date.
Among the subjects that Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin should discuss Thursday is Iranian nuclear power, said the representative. The chief negotiators of the two countries met on Wednesday in Vienna on the sidelines of the eighth round of talks intended to save the 2015 agreement. (Report Trevor Hunnicutt, with Vladimir Soldatkin Moscow, Andrea Shalal, Susan Heavey and Idrees Ali Washington; French version Jean Terzian)