Biden, Putin to hold phone call on Thursday: W.House

By: AFP      Published: 10:59 PM, 29 Dec, 2021
Biden, Putin to hold phone call on Thursday: W.House
Biden, Putin to hold phone call on Thursday: W.House

Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin will speak by telephone Thursday amid high tension on Ukraine ahead of US-Russia security talks next month, the White House said.

It will be the second telephone call in less than a month between the two leaders, with Biden in early December warning Putin of "severe consequences" if Russia invades Ukraine.

Biden, who is at his home in Delaware for the New Year's holiday, will speak to Putin on Thursday about "a range of topics, including upcoming diplomatic engagements with Russia," said Emily Horne, spokeswoman for the National Security Council.

"The Biden administration continues to engage in extensive diplomacy with our European allies and partners, consulting and coordinating on a common approach in response to Russia's military build-up on the border with Ukraine," she said in a statement Wednesday.

Russia has amassed tens of thousands of troops on the border with Ukraine, according to Western officials who fear a repeat of 2014 when Moscow seized the Crimean peninsula and a pro-Russia uprising broke out in eastern Ukraine.

In a potential step to defuse tensions, senior US and Russian officials plan to meet on January 10 in Geneva.

The meeting comes after Russia offered proposals to the United States that included calls not to expand NATO eastward or to set up bases in former Soviet republics.

The United States has called some of the Russian positions non-starters but said it is willing to talk and will also address its own concerns.

AFP

Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.