In 50 minutes… Biden and Putin exchanged decisive phrases and demands about the military escalation in Ukraine

US Presidents Joe Biden and Russian Vladimir Putin held a 50-minute phone conversation during which they discussed the military tension related to Ukraine, and each made clear demands.

A White House official said the call between the two presidents ended at 21:25 UTC, and that Biden was proposing a diplomatic course to avoid a military escalation in Ukraine.

He added that Biden told Putin that the deployment of Russian forces along the Ukrainian border was unacceptable.

The White House said Biden had made clear to Putin that Washington and its allies would respond decisively if Moscow invaded Ukraine.

In Russia, the Kremlin expressed satisfaction with the talks and said that Putin told Biden that Russia wanted results and that it was a serious mistake to impose sanctions on it.

Before the call, Putin confirmed that he was “convinced” of the possibility of establishing an “effective dialogue based on mutual respect and taking into account the national interests” of the two countries, recalling the summit that brought together the two presidents in June in Geneva.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov later added that “only the path of negotiations can solve the growing problems between us.”

The Kremlin believes that Russia’s security requires preventing any expansion of NATO to the east and putting an end to Western military activities in Russia’s vicinity, an area that Moscow considers its sphere of influence.

Russia sees the support of the United States, NATO and the European Union for Ukraine as a direct threat to its security and interests.

deterrence coordination

Earlier, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken discussed with his European counterparts “coordination to deter any further Russian aggression against Ukraine.”

He stressed the “consensus” among them to “impose enormous consequences and a heavy cost on Russia” if it launched an attack on Ukraine.

In a previous phone call earlier this month, Biden had threatened his Russian counterpart with sanctions “the like of which he has never seen before” in the event of an invasion of Ukraine.

Westerners have so far ruled out any military response to a Russian attack, while the Kremlin has shown no heed to threats of sanctions.

Russia is subject to economic sanctions against the backdrop of the Ukrainian file and the suppression of the internal opposition, but none of these measures led the Kremlin to change its policy, on the contrary.

For its part, Russia denies that it poses a threat to Ukraine, despite the fact that it invaded it in 2014 and annexed the Crimea. In return, it stresses that it wants to protect itself from the hostility of Westerners who support Kiev, especially in its conflict with the pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country.

In an indication of the difficulty of the upcoming Geneva talks on Ukraine and strategic stability, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov ruled out any “concession”.

The United States had previously warned that some of the Russian demands were “unacceptable”.

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