Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin held telephone talks, the White House said. The heads of state discussed strategic stability, arms control, cyberattacks on American departments, interference in the US elections, as well as the situation in Ukraine.
For a more detailed discussion of all issues, the head of the White House invited the Russian president to meet in the coming months. According to the Kremlin, the conversation took place at the initiative of Washington.
“President Biden has also made it clear that the United States will act decisively to defend its national interests in response to Russian actions such as cyber incursions and election interference. President Biden highlighted the United States’ unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The President expressed our concern about the sudden build-up of Russian military power in the occupied Crimea and on the borders of Ukraine and called on Russia to reduce tensions, “the White House said in a statement.
Joe Biden proposed to hold the summit on the territory of a third country.
“President Biden reaffirmed his goal of building stable and predictable relations with Russia in line with US interests and proposed a summit meeting in a third country in the coming months to discuss the full range of problems facing the US and Russia,” the statement says.
The Kremlin confirmed Mr Biden’s offer of a meeting, but did not elaborate on Mr Putin’s position. “Joseph Biden expressed interest in normalizing the state of affairs on the bilateral track and establishing stable and predictable interaction on <…> acute problems <…> in this context, the US President suggested considering the possibility of holding a personal summit meeting in the foreseeable future,” – said in the message of the Kremlin.
This is the first conversation between the presidents after Mr. Biden gave an affirmative answer to the question whether he considers the Russian president a “killer”. In response, Vladimir Putin suggested that Joe Biden continue the discussion live. The head of the White House refused. Then the Russian president said that he was ready to hold a conversation with the US president at any time convenient for him.
Today’s conversation between the two presidents took place against the background of the aggravation of the situation in the south-east of Ukraine. The US and Russia have accused each other of building up forces in the region. The US State Department said that the American president would make Russia pay in the event of “aggressive and irresponsible” actions.