World

Biden and Putin hold two-hour call over Ukraine

December 07, 2021
US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke for about two hours over a secure video call on Tuesday. — Courtesy photo
US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke for about two hours over a secure video call on Tuesday. — Courtesy photo



WASHINGTON — US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke for about two hours over a secure video call on Tuesday in what had been expected to be a highly consequential meeting for the two leaders amid escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

A White House statement on the call said 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."

He also "reiterated his support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and called for de-escalation and a return to diplomacy," the White House said.

The two presidents tasked their respective teams with following up on their discussions, with the White House adding that "the US will do so in close coordination with allies and partners."

In addition to the Ukraine issue, the two leaders discussed "the US-Russia dialogue on Strategic Stability, a separate dialogue on ransomware, as well as joint work on regional issues such as Iran," the White House said.

A White House photograph from the meeting showed that Secretary of State Antony Blinken, national security adviser Jake Sullivan and senior director for Russia and Central Asia Eric Green were seated next to Biden in the Situation Room during the video call.

The meeting began at 10:07 a.m. ET and ended at 12:08 p.m. ET, according to the White House.

The two leaders took part in a summit in Geneva last June. Their last publicly known call was in July. — CNN


December 07, 2021
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