- Biden and Putin held talks via video call for two hours
- US warns that if Russia invades Ukraine, it will impose sanctions
- This important conversation took place at a time when Russia has deployed thousands of soldiers.
US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held talks via video call for two hours on Tuesday amid ongoing tensions along the Ukraine border. In this, the US gave a clear warning to Russia that if it invaded Ukraine, it would be sanctioned and the Russian economy would suffer hugely. This important conversation has taken place at a time when Russia has deployed thousands of soldiers and state-of-the-art weapons on the border of Ukraine.
The much-awaited talks between the two leaders after Russia’s military mobilization on the Ukraine border comes at a time when there is growing concern in the US and the West about the possibility of Russia attacking Ukraine. Putin wanted a guarantee from Biden at this meeting that the NATO military alliance would not expand to other places, including Ukraine. The Ukraine question saw little room for de-escalation, and the US stressed the need for diplomacy and de-escalation, and warned Russia of dire consequences for the invasion.
‘Will provide Ukraine with additional defensive equipment’
US National Security Adviser Jack Sullivan said after talks between the two leaders that Biden “clearly told President Putin that the US and our European allies would respond with strict economic sanctions if Russia invades Ukraine”. .’ He said Biden said the US would “provide additional defensive equipment to Ukraine in the event of escalation of tensions and we would strengthen our NATO allies on the eastern border with additional capabilities.”
Victoria Nuland, a top US envoy, said attacking Ukraine would also jeopardize a disputed pipeline between Russia and Germany. He told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday that if Russia strikes “we expect the pipeline to be suspended.” Putin’s foreign affairs adviser Yuri Ushakov dismissed warnings of sanctions during a conversation with reporters. “Although the US President has talked about possible sanctions, our President has emphasized what Russia needs,” he said. Sanctions are not new, they have been in place for a long time and will not have any effect.
‘NATO expanding its military capability near the Russian border’
He described the presidents’ videoconferences as having “clear and business objectives” and said the two leaders also interacted with each other in a witty manner on several occasions. ‘It was a fruitful meeting,’ Sullivan said at the White House. Let us tell you that Russia has deployed thousands of soldiers near the Ukrainian border. Ukrainian officials accused Russia of further escalating the crisis by sending tanks and snipers to war-torn eastern Ukraine. US intelligence officials have not independently confirmed the allegations, but an official said the White House has expressed its concerns to Russia about the possibility of an attack.
“Putin emphasized that it is wrong to pin the blame on Russia because NATO is making dangerous attempts to increase its presence on the Ukrainian border and expanding its military capability along the Russian border,” the Kremlin said. Biden spoke from the status room of the White House and Putin spoke from his residence in Sochi, one of the key meetings of Biden’s tenure and comes at a time when US intelligence officials said Russia had smuggled 70,000 people near the Ukrainian border. It has sent more troops and has made preparations for a possible attack early next year. Sullivan said Biden and Putin had “meaningful talks on the Iran issue” and described it as an area on which the two countries can cooperate.