Biden-Putin talks: the threat of sanctions and Kremlin's demands
The presidents of the United States and Russia held a video meeting, during which they mainly discussed the situation around Ukraine. Joe Biden warned that the US would respond with serious economic and other measures in the event of a military escalation on the Ukrainian border. Putin demanded guarantees that NATO would not expand to the east.
As the Ukrainian Hromadske TV company reports, with reference to the official statements of the White House and the Kremlin, the parties exchanged views on ways to resolve the current crisis.
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Biden expressed the deep concern of the United States and European countries with the deployment of Russian military forces to the Ukrainian borders. He stressed that in the event of a military escalation, the United States and allied countries will respond with “serious economic and other measures” against Russia.
The US President reaffirmed his support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and called for de-escalation and a return to a diplomatic resolution of the crisis.
In response to Biden’s remark, Putin said that “the responsibility should not be shifted onto the shoulders of Russia”, because NATO is allegedly making dangerous attempts to “develop Ukrainian territory” and is building up its military potential near the territory of the Russian Federation.
The Kremlin indicates that Russia wants to receive “legally enshrined guarantees of NATO’s non-expansion in the eastern direction” and non-deployment of offensive weapons systems in neighboring countries.
In addition, Putin commented on the “destructive line of Kyiv” in relation to the Minsk agreements and the “Normandy format”.
The presidents of the United States and Russia began negotiations in the format of a video conference at about 17:00 Kyiv time and ended two hours later.
This is the first time the presidents of the Russian Federation and the United States have used this format of communication. Putin joined the meeting from his residence in Sochi, Biden at the White House in Washington.
The talks were held in a closed format amid growing tensions at the Ukrainian-Russian border and information that Russia could prepare a full-scale military invasion of Ukraine in early 2022.
Prior to the meeting, Putin said that Russia had proposed the West start negotiations on NATO’s eastward expansion. Biden, in turn, stressed that he does not recognize any “red lines” that the Kremlin is trying to establish with respect to NATO and Ukraine.