United States President Joe Biden called up Russian President Vladimir Putin to reduce tensions stirred by a Russian military build-up on Ukraine’s border. Biden proposed a summit to tackle the disputes.
According to a White House, they discussed a number of regional and global issues, including the intent of the United States and Russia to pursue a strategic stability dialogue on a range of arms control and emerging security issues, building on the extension of the New START Treaty.
President Biden also made clear that the United States will act firmly in defence of its national interests in response to Russia’s actions, like cyber intrusions and election interference.
President Biden emphasised the United States’ unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Biden also voiced concerns over the sudden Russian military build-up in occupied Crimea and on Ukraine’s borders, and called on Russia to de-escalate tensions.
He reaffirmed his goal of building a stable and predictable relationship with Russia consistent with US interests and proposed a summit meeting in a third country in the coming months to discuss the full range of issues facing the United States and Russia.
Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and fighting has increased in recent weeks in eastern Ukraine, where government forces have battled Russian-backed separatists in a seven-year conflict that Kyiv says has killed 14,000 people.
In a sign of concern about tensions spinning out of control in the Ukraine crisis, Biden phoned Putin to propose they meet in a third country while underlining U.S. commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.