(Washington) Joe Biden called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky on Sunday and warned Russian President Vladimir Putin this week against any attempt to invade the country.
“I have made it clear to President Putin that we will accept tough sanctions and increase our presence in Europe and among our NATO allies,” he said. He was questioned Friday in his phone interview with Putin.
“We were clear: he can not, I repeat, he can not occupy Ukraine,” he told some reporters, as he was leaving a restaurant in Wilmington, Delaware, where he was celebrating the anniversary with his family.
For his part, the Russian president called the new sanctions against Moscow “a big mistake.”
After this 50-minute phone conversation – for the second time in a month – the two praised the diplomatic way out of the crisis.
On Sunday, Mr. A White House official has announced that Biden will reaffirm with the Ukrainian president “US support for Ukraine’s independence and regional unity.”
The official said Joe Biden would “discuss the deployment of Russian troops on Ukraine’s border and review preparations for the next diplomatic meetings aimed at reducing tensions in the region.”
In a tweet, Volodymyr Zhelensky said he was impatient to discuss with the US president “ways to coordinate our efforts for the benefit of peace in Ukraine and the security of Europe.”
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced on Friday that he had telephoned NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. In a tweet, the US diplomat called on Russia to “actively participate” in talks that would allow tensions around Ukraine to ease.
Kiev and its Western allies are accused of amassing tens of thousands of troops across the country’s borders in anticipation of a possible invasion of Moscow.
“NATO is one and the same,” he said. Stoltenberg tweeted.
The United States and Russia are due to hold talks on Ukraine in Geneva on January 10-11. The Russia-NATO meeting will be chaired by US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and her Russian counterpart Sergei Rybkov on January 12, and then on January 13 within the framework of the OSCE.
The United States, which has been accused of leading certain international issues with little regard for its allies, precisely insists on close coordination with Europeans and Ukrainians.
Russia, which had already annexed part of Crimea in 2014, is widely regarded as the godfather of pro-Russian separatists in the conflict that has been dividing the country’s east for nearly eight years.