US President Joe Biden and his Russian Vladimir Putin on Thursday; exchanged warnings in a call about Ukraine; which was described by officials as “serious” and “substantive” by officials.
In the 50-minute call; which was requested by Putin, Biden warned the Russian leader of “serious costs and consequences” if there is an invasion of Ukraine; while, Putin warned Biden of a “complete rupture” in ties if the US imposed sanctions on Russia.
“President Biden reiterated that substantive progress in these dialogues can occur only in an environment of de-escalation rather than escalation;” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a readout of the call.
A senior Biden administration officials told reporters in a background call that; the American leader essentially laid out two paths for the Putin.
A path of diplomacy in which Russia would use existing channels of diplomacy to resolve its issues with Ukraine.
“The other is a path that’s more focused on deterrence; including serious costs and consequences should Russia choose to proceed with a further invasion of Ukraine;” the official said, adding, “And those costs include economic costs; include adjustments and augmentations of Nato force posture in Allied countries, and include additional assistance to Ukraine; to enable it to further defend itself and its territory, as we’ve laid out previously.”
The American leader also made clear on the call; that all his actions on this issue will be taken in consultation with allies and partners on the principle of “nothing about you without you”.
“No conversations about issues; that are of ultimate concern to our partners and allies without the full consultation and participation of our partners and allies,” the official said.
This was the second call between the two leaders in a month and came amid rising tensions between the two countries; over Russian military buildup along the border with Ukraine; which has raised the spectre of another invasion; similar to the amassing of troops that preceded the 2014 annexation of Crimea.
Even as the two leaders exchanged warnings, they expressed hope and willingness to continue diplomacy between the two countries.
President Biden also expressed support for diplomacy; starting early next year with the bilateral Strategic Stability Dialogue; at Nato through the Nato-Russia Council, and at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
President Biden reiterated that substantive progress in these dialogues can occur only in an environment of de-escalation rather than escalation,” Psaki said.