Ahead of talks between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin over the deployment of Russian troops along the Ukraine border, deep differences between the two have come to the fore.
Ahead of talks between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin over the deployment of Russian troops along the Ukraine border, deep differences between the two have come to the fore. One round of talks have taken place between the two. After the talks, both sides have expressed hope that a path to de-escalation could be opened during the diplomatic talks scheduled for January. The talks have been set for January 9 and 10 in Geneva.
Regarding the latest developments, Biden said that he advised Putin during a phone conversation that the upcoming talks can be meaningful only if Russian leaders defuse tensions in the coming days. The US president said he also sought to make it clear to Putin that the US and its allies are ready to impose punitive sanctions on Russia if Russia invades Ukraine further.
“I have made it clear to President Putin that if he takes further steps in Ukraine, we will be subjected to severe sanctions,” Biden said. “We will increase our presence in Europe with NATO allies,” he said. Biden’s national security team turned its attention on Friday to preparations for the Geneva talks, scheduled for January 9 and 10, to discuss Russia’s deployment of about 100,000 troops to its border with Ukraine.
Biden spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on the phone on Sunday. According to the White House, the two leaders plan to review preparations for upcoming diplomatic activities. Meanwhile, a top Putin aide said Russia stood by its demands for written security guarantees. He said Russia wants it codified that any future expansion of NATO should exclude Ukraine and other former Soviet countries.