A few hours before the scheduled phone call with US President Joe Biden, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed hope for the possibility of a “useful dialogue” between Moscow and Washington. According to the Kremlin, Putin told Python in a New Year’s telegram today that he “firmly believes that we can move forward and build a fruitful Russian-American dialogue.”
The dialogue should be based on “mutual respect and awareness of the national interests of others,” Putin said. The phone call between the two leaders comes amid tensions surrounding the deployment of large Russian troops on the border with Ukraine. The phone call between Putin and Biden should take place at 9.30pm (CET).
Biden warns Putin against tough sanctions
Biden wants to threaten Putin with tougher sanctions if there is further military intervention in Ukraine. A senior White House spokesman said Biden would call for a diplomatic settlement with Putin, but would also insist on tougher sanctions. Prior to the talks, Putin called for constructive talks between the two countries.
“We are working with our allies to impose tougher sanctions on the Russian economy and financial system – more than what was implemented in 2014,” the U.S. government spokesman said yesterday. At that time, Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula and began to support separatists in eastern Ukraine.
The US envoy warned that if the Russian invasion of Ukraine is renewed, there are already plans to expand NATO’s presence in Eastern European member states and strengthen their capabilities. In addition, they said, “Ukraine is ready to provide further support to defend its territory and respond to possible Russian occupation.” “If President Putin is willing to go down that path, President Biden will make it clear that there is a diplomatic path to reduce severity in the region,” the U.S. official said.
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