- BBC News World
“Total breakdown of relationships”. Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned his US President Joe Biden that this could be the case if new sanctions are imposed on Russia over the situation in Ukraine.
In a phone call on Thursday, Putin said sanctions were ultimately a “massive mistake.”
For his part, Biden told the Russian president that the United States and its allies would respond decisively to any aggression against Ukraine..
The call, made by Russia, was the second round of talks between the two rulers this month and lasted nearly an hour.
It was the latest attempt to defuse tensions on Ukraine’s eastern border with Russia, where Ukrainian officials say Moscow has more than 100,000 troops stationed there.
The move has provoked concern in the West and prompted the US to threaten Putin that sanctions would be imposed “if never before” if Ukraine were attacked.
Russia denies plans to invade its neighbor He also says there are troops for some military exercises. He says he has the right to move his forces freely on his own soil.
Option for conversation
Russia’s foreign policy adviser, Yuri Ushakov, told reporters shortly afterwards that the two sides had exchanged warnings during the call. Putin “delights” in this conversation. He added that a “good background” had been created for future conversations.
Speaking anonymously, a senior U.S. official said the tone was “serious and true.”
“President Biden reiterated that significant progress in these talks would only be made in the context of an intensification,” said White House Press Secretary Jen Zaki.
“He made it clear that the United States and its allies and allies would respond decisively if Russia continued its invasion of Ukraine,” he added.
The U.S. and Russian officials are scheduled to meet face-to-face in Geneva next month. The White House said Biden had persuaded his Russian ally to seek a diplomatic solution.
Prior to Thursday’s call, on the eve of the end of the year, Putin said in a statement that he was “confident” that the two countries could work together “out of mutual respect and in the national interest of each other.”
His spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said Moscow was “in a good mood to talk.”
“We believe that only through negotiations can all the immediate problems between us be resolved,” Peskov added.
Ukraine’s defense minister told parliament in early December Russia had amassed tens of thousands of troops near the border It is preparing for a full-scale military offensive in late January.
Russia has argued that the military strike on the border was a security operation against the Western military alliance NATO. NATO wants legally binding guarantees that it will not expand further east And some weapons will not be shipped to Ukraine or its neighbors.
The United States has rejected what it calls the Kremlin’s attempt to control the future of independent nations.
Ukraine is not a member of NATO, but has close ties to the camp.
Tensions between Russia and Ukraine are not new. In 2014, Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula and began supporting a separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine, killing about 14,000 people in routine fighting.
Washington and its European allies have warned Russia that tighter sanctions could be expected if troops re-enter Ukraine.
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