Biden talks sanctions while Putin warns of breakdown over Ukraine

WILMINGTON, Del. – President Joe Biden warned Russia’s Putin on Thursday that the United States could impose new sanctions against Russia if it took further military action against Ukraine, while Putin responded that such a move The US action could lead to a complete rupture of relations between the countries.

The two leaders spoke candidly for almost an hour amid growing alarm Russian military forces near Ukraine, a crisis deepened as the Kremlin stepped up its assertiveness on border security guarantees and tested hypersonic missiles to underline its demands.

Putin’s foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov, who spoke briefly to reporters in Moscow after the Biden-Putin phone call. He added that Putin had told Biden that Russia would act like the US if offensive weapons were deployed near the US border.
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White House officials issued a readout after the much more muted call, showing the leaders agreed that there are areas where the two sides can make meaningful progress but also differences. may not be able to resolve.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden “calls on Russia to de-escalate tensions with Ukraine” and “makes it clear that the United States and its allies and partners will respond decisively if Russia continues.” continued invasion of Ukraine.”

Mr. Putin requested a second phone call between the leaders this month, ahead of talks scheduled between senior US and Russian officials on January 9 and 10 in Geneva. The Geneva talks will be followed by a meeting of the Russia-NATO Council on January 12 and talks at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Vienna on January 13.

White House officials said Thursday’s call lasted 50 minutes, ending after midnight in Moscow.

Biden told Putin that the two powers now face “two paths”: diplomacy or US containment through sanctions, according to a senior administration official. Biden said the route to be taken, according to the official who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity, would “depend on Russia’s actions in the coming period.”

Russia has made it clear that it wants a written commitment that Ukraine will never be allowed to join NATO and that the alliance’s military equipment will not be located in the countries of the former Soviet Union. The Biden administration has denied.

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Adam Schultz / White House via AP In this image provided by the White House, President Joe Biden talks on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin from his residence in Wilmington, Del., Thursday, December 30, 2021.

Biden told Putin that a diplomatic path remains open even as the Russians have moved an estimated 100,000 troops to Ukraine and Kremlin officials have ramped up numbers as they demand new guarantees from the US and NATO. .

White House officials said Biden has made clear that the United States is prepared to address significant economic pain through sanctions if Putin decides to take military action in Ukraine.

Putin reacted strongly.

He “notes that it would be a mistake that our ancestors would consider a fatal error. A lot of mistakes have been made in the last 30 years, and we better avoid many such mistakes in this situation,” said Ushakov.

The Russian request will be discussed during the Geneva talks, but it remains unclear, if anything, Biden would be willing to offer to Putin in exchange for de-escalating the crisis.

The draft security documents submitted by Moscow ask NATO to deny membership to Ukraine and other former Soviet states and to reverse military deployments in Central and Eastern Europe.

The US and its allies have refused to give Russia the kind of guarantees over Ukraine that Putin wants, citing NATO as a member of any of the eligible countries. However, they have agreed to hold talks with Russia to discuss its concerns.

Moscow’s security proposal has raised questions about whether Putin is making unrealistic demands in the hope of being rejected by the West giving him an excuse to invade.

Steven Pifer, who served as the US ambassador to Ukraine during the Clinton administration, said the Biden administration could get involved in some elements of the Russian draft document if Moscow is serious about the negotiations.

Meanwhile, key NATO members have made it clear that they do not want to expand the alliance in the near future. The United States and its allies could also absorb the language of a draft Russian document calling for the establishment of new consultation mechanisms, such as the NATO-Russia Council and a hotline between NATO and Russia.

“The draft treaty’s proposed bar for any NATO military operations in Ukraine, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus or Central Asia is an outrageous violation, but some measures restrict exercises and military action on a reciprocal basis is possible,” said Pifer, now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, wrote in an analysis to Washington’s advisory body.

Biden and Putin, who meet in Geneva in June to discuss a range of tensions in the US-Russia relationship, which is not expected to participate in the January talks.

Last week, Russia Zircon hypersonic missile test fired, a move that Russian officials say is intended to help Russia push for “more convincing” security guarantees. The test was the first time that the Zircon missile had been launched in a salvo, indicating that testing was completed before the new missile entered service with the Russian navy next year and fitted to cruisers, frigates, and frigates. ships and submarines of the country.

US intelligence determined earlier this month that Russian planning is underway for a military strike that could begin as early as 2022, but Putin has yet to determine whether to launch the strike. this or not.

Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s Security and Defense Council, on Thursday said his country believes there is no immediate threat of a major Russian invasion.

“Our experts say that the Russian Federation cannot physically launch a major invasion of our territory,” said Danilov. “There is a necessary amount of time to prepare.”

The U.S. military has conducted surveillance flights in Ukrainian airspace this week, including Thursday’s flight by an Air Force E-8C JSTARS aircraft, according to Chuck Pritchard, a spokesman for U.S. Command. America’s Europe. That aircraft is equipped to provide intelligence on ground forces.

Russia denies any intention of launching an invasion and, conversely, accuses Ukraine of hatching a plan to try to regain control of territories held by Moscow-backed rebels by force. Ukraine has denied the claim.

At the same time, Putin also warned that Moscow will have to take “proportionate military-technical measures” if the West continues its “aggressive” actions “on our doorstep.”

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AP Photo / Andriy Dubchak A Ukrainian soldier smokes a cigarette at the border separating it from pro-Russian rebels, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Thursday, December 30, 2021.

Last month, Putin expressed concern that NATO could potentially use Ukrainian territory to deploy missiles capable of reaching Moscow in as little as five minutes, and said Zircon would give Russia the same capability.

As Biden prepares for talks with Putin, the administration also sought to highlight its commitment to Ukraine and assert that Washington is committed to the “principle of nothing to you without you” in shaping policy affecting its European allies. Foreign Minister Antony Blinken spoke on Wednesday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Putin’s past military strikes have been enormous.

In 2014, Russian troops entered the Crimean peninsula on the Black Sea and took territory from Ukraine. Russia’s annexation of Crimea was one of the darkest moments for President Barack Obama on the international stage.

U.S.-Russian relations were severely damaged near the end of the George W. Bush administration following Russia’s 2008 invasion of neighboring Georgia after Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili ordered it. sent his army into the breakaway South Ossetia region.

Biden, who is spending the week in his hometown of Delaware, spoke to Putin from his home near Wilmington. The White House distributed a photo of the president talking to the Russian leader from a table plastered with family photos.


Vladimir Isachenkov reported from Moscow. Associated Press writers Dasha Litvinova in Moscow, Robert Burns in Washington and Yuras Karmanau in Kyiv, Ukraine, contributed to this report. Biden talks sanctions while Putin warns of breakdown over Ukraine

Aila Slisco

Aila Slisco is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Aila Slisco joined Dailynationtoday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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