Biden, Zelenskyy to speak as Russia builds up military at Ukraine border

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks by phone with U.S. President Joe Biden in Kyiv, Ukraine December 9, 2021.

Ukrainian Presidential Press Service | Handout | via Reuters

President Joe Biden plans to speak with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Sunday to express support for Ukraine’s sovereignty as Russian military forces pile up near the countries’ shared border, a White House official said Friday.

Biden on the call also intends to review plans for diplomatic moves aimed “to help de-escalate the situation in the region,” the official said. U.S. and Russian officials are set to hold security talks on Jan. 10 to discuss the Russia-Ukraine tensions and other issues.

On Thursday, Biden in a 50-minute phone call urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to lower those tensions. He warned that the U.S. was prepared to “respond decisively if Russia further invades Ukraine,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.

A Kremlin aide reportedly said after the conversation that Putin “outlined in detail the basic principles laid down by Russia in the security proposals and emphasized that we will seek to ensure Russia’s security.”

CNBC Politics

Read more of CNBC’s politics coverage:

Ukraine for months has sounded alarms about the buildup of thousands of troops along its eastern border with Russia. Putin has previously insisted that, despite the military deployment, Moscow is not preparing to invade. Pro-Russian separatists, meanwhile, have pushed into swaths of eastern Ukraine.

But Putin has also opposed the prospect of Ukraine joining NATO, the 30-nation intercontinental military alliance where an attack on one member is considered an attack on all. Ukraine has attempted to join NATO for years.

In late November, Putin suggested Russia would retaliate if western governments supplied Ukraine with certain weapons systems. He has called the expansion of NATO’s military power into other eastern European nations a threat.

Russia in 2014 annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine. Putin has argued that Ukraine is essentially a part of Russia.

Biden held separate calls earlier in December with both Putin and Zelenskyy. Biden and Zelenskyy met face-to-face at the White House in September.

Source link

Leave a Reply