Putin & Biden Talks, Amid Tensions Between Russia and Ukraine, 90,000 Russian Troops At The Border
Russian President, Vladimir Putin held a video talk with his American counterpart, Joe Biden, on Tuesday.
Mr Biden expressed his deep concerns over the arrival of Russian troops near Ukraine, threatening “strong economic and other measures”, Washington said.
Before the talks, a Bloomberg News report said that the U.S. would be looking to block Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Germany.
Despite Russia has moved a few thousand troops to the border with Ukraine, it insisted that there is no intention of attacking Ukraine, while noting that talks were necessary as tensions were “off the scale”.
Moscow is seeking for guarantees that Ukraine will not join NATO.
The White House stated after the talks: "President Biden voiced the deep concerns of the United States and our European allies about Russia's escalation of forces surrounding Ukraine and made clear that the US and our allies would respond with strong economic and other measures in the event of military escalation. President Biden reiterated his support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and called for de-escalation and a return to diplomacy."
Furthermore, the White House stated that the two presidents additionally discussed "the US-Russia dialogue on strategic stability, a separate dialogue on ransomware, as well as joint work on regional issues such as Iran".
Moscow published a brief statement that the talks were held on Tuesday, while has not commented publicly on the talks.
The last meeting of the two men was in Switzerland in June, during which sending their ambassadors back and begin dialogue on nuclear arms control, was agreed.
The White House said in a conference call on Monday that the leaders of U.S., U.K., Germany, France and Italy have agreed in a common strategy, "to impose significant and severe harm on the Russian economy" should Russia launch an invasion. A follow up by Mr Biden with the European leaders, is expected after his talks with President Putin
A few restrictions are on the table and include, restrictions on Russia’s banks converting roubles into foreign currencies or disconnecting Russia from the Swift global financial payment system, some reports say.
As it stands now, Russia is seeking guarantees that Ukraine will not attempt to seize areas captured by separatists (Russian-backed) in 2014. It has warned the West that adding Ukraine to Nato, would be crossing the “red line”.
It is estimated that more than 90,000 Russian troops are believed to be currently present near Ukraine’s borders, with a large part of the Russian army to be in Crimea.
Ukrainian officials have said Moscow could be planning a military offensive at the end of January.
(Picture by Reuters)
(Research, writing and editing by: The Decision Maker)