Putin against NATO eastward expansion: Biden wants to arm Ukraine if necessary

Putin against NATO expansion to the east
Biden wants to arm Ukraine if necessary

Their conversation is not long, but the content is tough: Presidents Biden and Putin talk about the tense situation in Ukraine at a video summit. Shortly afterwards, the US made it clear: an escalation provoked by Russia will be followed by a military response.

According to the White House, US President Joe Biden wants to further arm Ukraine in the event of an invasion by Russia. “We would provide the Ukrainians with additional material for defense that goes beyond what we are already providing,” said Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan after a video summit between the US President and his Russian colleague Vladimir Putin. “And we would equip our NATO allies on the eastern flank with additional capabilities to respond to such an escalation.”

During the talks on Tuesday, Biden threatened Putin with economic measures “should Russia continue to penetrate Ukraine,” said Sullivan. The US President also made it clear to Putin that there was another option: “De-escalation and diplomacy”. In the conversation with Putin, Biden was “crystal clear” about the US position.

Meanwhile, at the video summit, the Russian President reiterated his call for a halt to NATO’s eastward expansion. Russia wants binding legal guarantees that the Western military alliance will not expand eastward and station offensive weapons there, Putin said in a statement released by the Kremlin late Tuesday evening.

Talks are to be continued

Russia sees itself threatened by an advance of NATO and wants to prevent the admission of the neighboring ex-Soviet republics Ukraine and Georgia into the alliance. Putin had also stated that from Russia’s point of view, moving NATO military infrastructure to Ukraine would be crossing a “red line”.

Putin and Biden spoke for a good two hours on Tuesday against the background of growing tensions in the Ukraine conflict. The Kremlin announced that the dialogue was objective and open. The heads of state of both countries have emphasized that the USA and Russia have a special responsibility for international security and stability. The talks should continue.

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