The White House says a telephone conversation between US and Russian Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin will take place on Thursday as tensions continue over the deployment of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border.
This will be the second conversation between the leaders in a month.
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National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horna said Biden would talk with Putin on Thursday about “a number of issues, including up-and-coming diplomatic relations with Russia.”
Biden is currently at his home in Delaware, where he spends his annual vacation.
“The Biden administration continues to engage in extensive diplomacy with European allies and partners, consulting and coordinating a common approach in response to the Russian military’s concentration on the Ukraine border,” Horna said in a statement.
In a bid to defuse tensions, US and Russian officials are scheduled to meet in Geneva on January 10.
A senior U.S. official said Wednesday that Biden would provide Putin with a “diplomatic route” to the crisis surrounding Ukraine, and that Biden was deeply concerned about the Russian military operation.
In a telephone conversation on Thursday, the official told reporters that he was “ready for diplomacy and diplomacy”.
“But we are ready to react if Russia moves forward with more aggression on Ukraine,” Biden told Putin, adding that “we are more seriously concerned about Russia’s presence near the Ukrainian border.”
The proposal for the new phone call came from the Kremlin, an official who wished to remain anonymous said.
The official said Russian troops concentrated on the Ukrainian border were “not fully stable”, which he said was “a constant source of great concern”.
Washington “wants to see the Armed Forces return to their regular training grounds.”
Beating weapons reduces any deep progress, the official added.
“Achieving a meaningful understanding between the United States and Russia, NATO and Russia, Ukraine and Russia, reaching the final stage, the final stage of diplomacy, really only happens in the context in which we see expansion,” the official said.
There are no plans to hold a Biden-Putin summit again at the Geneva talks.
The official said Biden would soon speak with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky.
Russia has put forward US security plans, including halting NATO’s eastern expansion and establishing bases in the former Soviet Union.
The United States has said some of Russia’s proposals are totally unacceptable, but said it was willing to talk and discuss issues of concern to the United States.
The United States and the West believe that Russia can prepare for an attack on Ukraine, so they have amassed about 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border.
Russia denies allegations of possible occupation of Ukraine by its forces. According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Moscow is taking a defensive stance because Kiev is moving closer to NATO.
At a video conference on December 7, Biden warned Putin that the United States would impose unprecedented sanctions on Russia if it attacked Ukraine.