Biden, Putin to talk amid growing Ukraine tension

Washington, Dec 4 (EFE).- United States President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will hold talks by video conference amid growing tension over Ukraine on Tuesday, the White House said.

“President Biden will underscore US concerns with Russian military activities on the border with Ukraine and reaffirm the United States support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Saturday.

She said the two leaders would discuss a range of topics in the US-Russia relationship, including strategic stability, cyber, and regional issues, when they hold a “secure video call” on Dec.7.

It would be the first conversation between Putin and Biden since their summer meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

The US intelligence has indicated that Russia was planning for a possible military offensive against Ukraine in early 2022.

Moscow has again been mobilizing troops on the border with the neighbor, sparking concerns from Washington and Kyiv.

Intelligence officials have cited satellite images of the Russian military movements, showing troops, equipment and artillery, deployed near the border with Ukraine.

They have estimated that Moscow was planning to move 175,000 soldiers for the deployment at various points on the border with Ukraine.

The Washington Post newspaper was the first to access the US intelligence documents.

On Friday, Biden said he would make it “very, very difficult” for Putin to take military action in Ukraine.

The US president said he was preparing “a series of measures” to defend Ukraine if Putin launched a military attack.

Biden, however, did not detail the plans.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned earlier this week that if Moscow decided to attack Ukraine, Washington and its allies would hit it “with a range of high-impact economic measures that we have refrained from using in the past.”

He made the remarks after meeting Russian Foreign Ministry Sergey Lavrov in Stockholm.

Ukraine aspires to join NATO as a defense mechanism against the military threats from the Kremlin that annexed the Crimean peninsula in 2014 and openly supports the pro-Russian separatist republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. EFE


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