Putin and Biden Warn Each Other in 50-Minute Conversation

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Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin spoke by phone for about 50 minutes on Thursday evening about, among other things, the crisis in eastern Ukraine. Putin warned his counterpart that US sanctions would be “a colossal mistake”.

 

Biden, in turn, said “de-escalation is needed” to make progress. He also warned Putin of the consequences if Russia decides to invade Ukraine.

It was the second time in three weeks that the US president and his Russian counterpart had telephoned each other. Biden told Putin that the Americans and their allies would respond “vigorously” to a Russian invasion of Ukraine. First, however, he stressed that a diplomatic solution must be found to the deadlock the two superpowers have found themselves.

Putin said he was “satisfied” after the telephone call, in which he indicated that Moscow needs a concrete result from the security talks that the countries are holding in January. He said he hoped the Americans would not introduce major sanctions and warned Biden of the possible consequences. Both leaders said they are willing to listen to the other before the call.

The leaders spoke at Putin’s request about rising tensions between Russia and the West. These have risen sharply in recent weeks because European countries and the US think that Russia is preparing for an invasion of Ukraine. Putin denies that time and again.

The deputy ministers of both countries will soon be meeting with each other. Media previously wrote that there is no indication that one of the parties is prepared to make concessions.

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