WILMINGTON, Del. (Fwrd Axis) — President Joe Biden on Thursday told Russian President Vladimir Putin the U.S. and its allies would “respond decisively” if Russia takes military action against Ukraine in a call between the two leaders.
Biden spoke with Putin for 50 minutes at his home in Wilmington, Delaware, telling Putin to “de-escalate tensions with Ukraine”. Biden spoke earlier this month with Putin in a virtual call and made similarly worded statements.
“President Biden urged Russia to de-escalate tensions with Ukraine. He made clear that the United States and its allies and partners will respond decisively if Russia further invades Ukraine,” White House press secretary Psaki said in a statement Thursday.
The United States and Russia will hold security talks on Jan. 10. Biden and Putin are not expected to participate.
The call was held “at the request of the Russian side”, a senior administration official told reporters on Thursday. In the call on Thursday, Biden put two paths on the table, one was for diplomacy leading toward de-escalation or measures like economic sanctions.
“The tone of the conversation between the two presidents was serious and substantive,” the official said. “They each frame their positions as they’ve done in previous calls and also as they’ve done publicly.”
The call between Biden and Putin comes amid Russia amassing 100,000 troops along the Ukrainian border, prompting fears of an invasion as soon as next month.
Putin’s aide, Yury Ushakov, said Thursday the two leaders discussed coming to an agreement without escalating tensions.
“Biden stressed that in the event of an escalation on the Ukrainian border, the West will take large-scale, unprecedented sanctions in the economic, financial and military spheres,” Ushakov said. “Putin replied that this could lead to a complete rupture of relations between our countries. Putin mentioned that new sanctions would be a mistake.”