International. Biden to offer Putin ‘diplomatic channel’ on Ukraine on appeal Thursday

Joe Biden and Vladimir Poutine will speak by phone on Thursday “to discuss various issues, including upcoming diplomatic contacts with Russia,” a White House spokesman in charge of security issues announced Wednesday. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov later confirmed that the exchange would take place, adding that it would take place “late at night” at Moscow time.

Joe Biden, who will meet Vladimir Putin from his bastion in Delaware, will be willing to undertake “a diplomatic route”, but the United States, which remains “deeply concerned” by the presence of Russian troops on the border with the United States. Ukraine will also be “prepared to respond” in the event of an invasion, according to a White House official. Washington “would like the troops to return to their usual training areas,” said this source.

“America’s Unwavering Support for Ukraine’s Independence”

This call will come two weeks before the negotiations between the two countries scheduled for January 10 in Geneva on the nuclear arms control treaties and the situation on the Russian-Ukrainian border, where the West accuses Moscow of concentrating troops for ‘a possible attack ‘.

Joe Biden continues to consult “his allies and partners” on this issue, said National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne.

Before Thursday’s appeal, Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday.

The head of US diplomacy “reaffirmed the unwavering support of the United States for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine in the face of the military strengthening of Russia,” said his spokesman Ned Price.

Blinken and Zelensky discussed efforts to “peacefully resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine and upcoming diplomatic contacts with Russia,” he added.

Volodymyr Zelensky, who also mentioned “diplomatic efforts to achieve peace,” told him in a tweet that he had received the guarantee of “full American support” to “counter a Russian attack.”

Moscow excludes any “concessions”

This is the second telephone interview between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin in less than a month. In early December, the US president threatened his counterpart with sanctions “the likes of which he had never seen before” in the event of an attack on Ukraine.

Moscow, which claims to act only in response to what it describes as Western hostility, recently submitted two draft treaties aimed at preventing any expansion of NATO, including Ukraine, and ending Western military activities near Russian borders.

Sign that the discussions on January 10 will be bitter, the head of Russian diplomacy, Sergey Lavrov, has already ruled out any “concessions”. The United States had previously warned that some Russian requests were “unacceptable.”

These bilateral talks should be followed on January 12 by a meeting between Russia and NATO.

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