Biden, Putin to discuss Ukraine crisis on Thursday

Washington, Dec 29 (EFE).- US President Joe Biden is scheduled to speak by telephone with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, on Thursday to discuss the Ukraine crisis, among other issues.

In a statement, National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne announced the call and noted that Biden is continuing to hold conversations and consultations with US allies to seek a common response to Russia’s increased military presence on its border with Ukraine, a presence that many believe is the build-up to an invasion sometime in the coming weeks.

She also noted that Biden is keeping in contact with European leaders and his administration is pursuing multilateral contacts with NATO, the European Union, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), as well as bilateral contacts with countries along NATO’s eastern flank and with Ukraine itself.

The telephone conversation between Biden and Putin will come 23 days after the videoconference the two leaders held in which Biden warned that he will respond to a potential Russian attack on Ukraine with strong economic measures that could include the “suspension” of operations on a Russian gas pipeline into Europe as well as strengthening defenses of NATO’s eastern flank.

Putin, meanwhile, insisted at the time and in subsequent days that it is NATO and not Russia that is responsible for the current military tension along the Russia-Ukraine border.

Six days ago, in his annual press conference, Putin demanded “immediate” security guarantees from the US and NATO, warning them not to let the negotiations that are due to commence in early 2022 in Geneva get “bogged down.”

EFE pamp/arc/dmt/bp

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