Biden, Putin to Get on a Call Again on Thursday

It'll be their 2nd conversation this month
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 29, 2021 12:01 PM CST
Biden, Putin Schedule a 2nd Call This Month
President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, arrive to meet at the 'Villa la Grange', June 16, 2021, in Geneva, Switzerland.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

President Biden and Vladimir Putin will speak Thursday as the Russian leader has stepped up his demands for security guarantees in Eastern Europe. CNN reports the call was requested by Putin, and the Washington Post adds it'll be the second this month between the leaders. The two spoke on Dec. 7, with Biden reportedly warning in a two-hour video call that should Russia invade Ukraine, it would bring a response far beyond the reaction to Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014. This time around, the two leaders will discuss "a range of topics, including upcoming diplomatic engagements," National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne said in a statement announcing the call.

The talks come as the US and Western allies continue to watch the buildup of Russian troops near the border of Ukraine, growing to an estimated 100,000 and fueling fears that Moscow is preparing to invade Ukraine, reports the AP. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke on Wednesday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. State Department spokesman Ned Price said Blinken "reiterated the United States' unwavering support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s military buildup on Ukraine’s borders." Price said the two discussed efforts to peacefully resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine and upcoming diplomatic engagements with Russia.

Putin said earlier this week he would ponder a slew of options if the West fails to meet his push for security guarantees precluding NATO’s expansion to Ukraine. Earlier this month, Moscow submitted draft security documents demanding that NATO deny membership to Ukraine and other former Soviet countries and roll back its military deployments in Central and Eastern Europe. (More President Biden stories.)

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