Both the Kremlin and an American source said yesterday, Saturday, that US President Joe Biden will hold a video call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin next Tuesday, coinciding with the escalation of tension between Moscow and the West against the background of the Americans accusing Russia of preparing an imminent invasion of Ukraine.

The US source said that the two leaders intend to discuss US concerns about the Russian military build-up on the Ukrainian border, among other issues.

He added that Biden will underscore US concerns about Russian military activities on the border with Ukraine, and renew US support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The Kremlin told Reuters that the two sides will also discuss bilateral relations and the implementation of agreements reached during the two leaders' summit in Geneva last June.

Biden will also discuss strategic stability, electronic and regional issues.

The exact timing of the call was not disclosed.

Biden (right) and Putin will discuss Washington's concerns about the Russian military buildup on the (European) borders of Ukraine

Details and tension

For its part, the Interfax news agency quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as “confirming” that the meeting would take place next Tuesday, while RIA Novosti news agency quoted him as saying that the meeting would take place “in the evening” (Russian time), provided that “the two presidents will determine how long it will take.”

The announcement of this meeting, which Moscow and Washington have been preparing for several days, comes in the midst of tension between Russia and Western countries over Ukraine.

Moscow has repeatedly denied any hostile intentions towards Kiev, accusing Western countries of intensifying their "provocations", in particular by holding military exercises in the Black Sea.

And the day before Friday, Biden confirmed that he was in "constant contact" with US and Ukrainian allies, and said in the White House, "I am preparing what will become, I think, a set of initiatives that will be the most complete and the best so that it becomes very, very difficult for Putin to do what people fear he is." he does."


Expectations

Biden also expected to have an extended conversation with Putin, rejecting Moscow's warnings that the deployment of Western weapons or forces in Ukraine is a red line for Russia.

"We have been aware of Russian moves for a long time, and my expectations are that there will be a lengthy conversation with Putin," the US president said in statements to reporters on Friday evening, before leaving the White House for the presidential camp David in Maryland.

When asked about Putin's warning that installing missile defense systems or taking countermeasures in Ukraine would mark a red line for the Kremlin, Biden said he did not respect Putin's red lines.

Bloomberg news agency notes that Biden's statements come at the conclusion of a busy day in which White House officials stated that the US administration is considering imposing economic sanctions and providing security assistance to Kiev, in response to the buildup of Russian forces on the border with Ukraine.

This Russian military build-up has raised concerns in Western countries about the possibility of Moscow invading Ukraine.

Austin: There is a lot of room for diplomacy and leadership to play a role in the Ukraine issue (Reuters)

planning and commitment

A senior official in President Biden's administration said that US intelligence had concluded that Russia was planning an attack on Ukraine as soon as next year, with the participation of 175,000 Russian soldiers.

For his part, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that Washington is committed to ensuring that Ukraine has what it needs to protect its territory.

He added that there is plenty of room for diplomacy and leadership to play a role in the Ukraine issue.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken warned his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, last week that Russia would face "serious consequences and a heavy price" from the United States and its European allies if it launched another attack on Ukraine.

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