The White House stated that U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin will deliver speeches on Thursday (December 30), and Washington will jointly respond to the military build-up on the Ukrainian border between Russia and European allies.
White House National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horn said in a statement on Wednesday that the two leaders will discuss a range of topics, including upcoming security talks between the two countries and tensions in Europe.
The White House stated that the conference call will be held at 3:30 pm Eastern Time (2030 GMT, 23.30 Moscow Time).
Horn said that Biden has talked with European leaders about the situation on the Ukrainian border, while Biden government officials are in contact with NATO, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
After Moscow occupied the Crimean Peninsula of Ukraine in 2014 and supported separatists in fighting the Kiev army in eastern Ukraine, the West was shocked by the gathering of tens of thousands of soldiers near Ukraine in the past two months.
Russia denies plans to attack Ukraine and says it has the right to mobilize troops on its own land as it pleases.
Moscow is concerned about what it says is the West’s rearm of Ukraine, and has expressed its hope for a legally binding guarantee that NATO will not further expand eastward and will not deploy certain offensive weapons to Ukraine or other neighboring countries.
A senior official in the Biden administration said that US concerns have not diminished in recent weeks. Other US officials said that despite reports over the weekend that Russia would withdraw about 10,000 soldiers from its border with Ukraine, so far they have seen little evidence to support this.
“We are in a moment of crisis. Given that Russia has been gathering for several weeks, we need a high degree of participation to resolve this issue and find a way to ease the situation,” one of the officials said. , Who declined to be named.
The man said that Putin asked for a phone call with Biden.
“When President Biden asked to speak with President Putin during 2021, President Putin said, yes, let’s talk. When President Putin said that I was interested in contacting the base and calling, President Biden said yes. “
Biden may reiterate during the call that if Russia is invaded, the United States will quickly take economic action. In this case, they will also strengthen the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
But the President of the United States has been pushing for direct diplomacy as an alternative.
White House spokesman Horn said that the Biden administration has been conducting in-depth negotiations with Ukraine and many NATO allies, including those on the border with Russia.
Another official said that Biden may soon talk to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. According to a spokesperson, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Brinken spoke with Ukrainian leaders on Wednesday and said that he “unswervingly supports Ukraine’s independence”.
Officials said that JSTARS, a US military reconnaissance aircraft, flew for the first time in Ukrainian airspace earlier this week, although different types of reconnaissance aircraft are common in the area.
When asked on Tuesday whether he would meet Putin on January 10, Biden said, “We will wait and see.” On the same day, US and Russian officials will hold security talks. But an official said that Biden is not expected to attend these talks or meet Putin that day.
Russia and NATO are also scheduled to hold talks on January 12, and a broader meeting including Moscow, Washington and other European countries is scheduled to take place on January 13.
Putin compared the current tension with the Cuban Missile Crisis during the Cold War in 1962. Washington believes that some of his requirements, including restrictions on NATO’s expansion, are impossible.
A US official said that the dialogue between Putin and Biden may also involve other issues, including ongoing nuclear program negotiations with Iran.