US-President Joe Biden has warned the Russian head of state Vladimir Putin in a telephone conversation about a Russian invasion of Ukraine. Otherwise, the US and its allies would “respond decisively,” Biden told Putin on Thursday, according to the White House. Russia must “de-escalate” tensions with Ukraine.
Putin, in turn, warned Biden against imposing severe sanctions on Russia, according to the Kremlin. This would be a “colossal mistake,” said Putin’s foreign policy advisor Yuri Ushakov after the phone call.
The talks planned for January between representatives of the two countries about the security guarantees demanded by Moscow must also come to “results,” said Ushakov. According to his spokeswoman Jen Psaki, Biden made his support for the diplomatic talks clear in the phone call.
Moscow denies attack plans
Biden and Putin spoke on the phone for 50 minutes on Thursday. The second phone call between the two heads of state within a month comes against the background of the tensions surrounding the massive Russian troop deployment on the border with Ukraine. The West fears that Russia could attack the neighboring country. The government in Moscow denies any plans to attack, rejects criticism of the troop movements and, for its part, accuses Kiev and NATO of “provocations”. Both heads of state warned of an escalation of the conflict in Ukraine during a phone call on Thursday, US and Russian officials announced.
Dialogue in January
Biden and Putin met in Geneva in June and last had a video call on December 7th. Representatives of the USA and Russia plan to meet in Geneva on January 10th to discuss the conflict in Ukraine. Talks between Russia and NATO are planned two days later. Consultations between Russia and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) are to follow on January 13.
Russia is demanding security guarantees from the West and has submitted drafts for two agreements with the USA and NATO, which are intended to prohibit the eastward expansion of the military alliance and the establishment of US military bases in states of the former Soviet sphere of influence. The far-reaching demands were rejected by several NATO members.