Biden, Putin to discuss Ukraine crisis in new appeal

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had assured him of “full US support for Ukraine to counter Russian aggression.”

US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will speak on Thursday as part of a latest effort to defuse tensions surrounding Moscow’s military build-up on the border with Ukraine.

It will be the second phone call in less than a month between the two leaders, Biden having warned in early December Putin of the “serious consequences” of an invasion of Russian troops.

“But we are also ready to react if Russia advances with a new invasion of Ukraine,” Biden will tell Putin, the official said, adding that Washington remains “gravely concerned” about the military build-up and wants to see Russian forces to recover. “To their usual training areas”.

– American support to Ukraine –

In a potential measure to defuse tensions, senior US and Russian officials plan to meet on January 10 in Geneva.

The United States has called some of the Russian positions a non-starting point, but said it is willing to speak up and will raise its own concerns as well.

The administration official made it clear that there were no plans for another in-person summit.

Ahead of the US-Russian talks, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke by telephone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday.

Blinken also spoke separately with his British, French and German counterparts on “coordination to deter any further Russian aggression against Ukraine,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

The Biden administration is committed to taking all measures in close collaboration with its European allies. After the Geneva talks, Russian delegates will meet with delegates from the NATO alliance ahead of a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, a key Cold War forum that brings together Moscow and the West .

Originally published as Biden, Putin to discuss Ukraine crisis in new appeal

Christi C. Elwood