Bilateral Relations

Key points discussed by Presidents Putin and Biden during online meeting

by Sputnik News

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Joe Biden have finalised their “protracted and comprehensive” video call, having discussed pressing issues linked to both international affairs and the complicated relations between the US and Russia.
“[President of the United States] held a secure video call with President Putin of Russia today to discuss a range of topics in the U.S.-Russia relationship, including our concerns about Russian military activities on the border with Ukraine, cyber, and regional issues,” White House said in a tweet shortly after the conversation wrapped up.
Despite the “negative” background behind the highly anticipated talks between the two Presidents, the video call was welcomed as necessary. Amid high expectations, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov urged everyone to “keep a cool head”.
The conversation revolved around such issues as tensions related to Ukraine amid claims of the purported “Russian invasion” in the neighbouring country, bilateral relations between Washington and Moscow (including understandings agreed in Geneva) and other things.

Situation in Ukraine

In the conversation, Biden voiced US’ ‘deep concerns over the buildup of Russian forces near the Ukrainian border, the White House said shortly after the call ended.
Particularly, the US President “made clear” to Putin that America and its allies would respond with strong economic and other measures in the event of a military escalation in Ukraine.
Besides, according to the White House, Biden reiterated his support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, calling for de-escalation and return to diplomacy.

“Our president informed [Biden] in sufficient detail about how Kiev fails to fulfill the relevant Minsk agreements. It was said directly that Ukraine sabotages the Minsk implementation, in addition, it sabotages the agreements reached within the framework of the Normandy Four summit, delays the negotiation process in the contact group, seeks to exclude Donbas from the negotiation process,” Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov told reporters following the leaders’ talks.

Biden informed Putin that Washington is preparing large-scale sanctions in case of further escalation of the situation around Ukraine, the Kremlin added.
Over the past several weeks, western media outlets have been fuelling the “Russian invasion of Ukraine” narrative, with Bloomberg first reporting the purported “incursion” in mid-November.
Other outlets followed its lead. A handful of stories grew to the climax of German tabloid Bild offering a map that depicted the so-called “plan” by Putin to invade the neighbouring country. Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova rejected the “plan” as nothing but “fantasies” of the German media outlet.
With the western countries voicing their concerns that Russia has been “amassing troops” close to the Ukrainian border over the month, the Kremlin argued that it was in fact the NATO alliance that caused concern in Moscow by moving its troops and military equipment in the region.
Kremlin said Biden told Putin about possible new sanctions over Ukraine in an acceptable form.

“Biden mentioned possible sanctions measures. What was said before publicly and communicated through various channels to us, has now been said, but in a fairly acceptable form that is worthy of the presidential level,” Ushakov said.

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