The president of U.S, Joe Biden, and the representative of Russia, Vladimir Putin, began a meeting by phone on Thursday to make the diplomatic channel prevail in the face of the crisis generated by the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“President Biden’s call to President Putin began at 3:35 p.m. (8:35 p.m. GMT) “, announced a senior White House official.
Biden is in Wilmington, in Delaware, where he has a house and spends the end of the year holidays. The press does not have access to the place.
His intention, according to the White House, is to propose “A diplomatic channel” to prevent a military escalation in Ukraine.
In his end-of-the-year message to the American president hours earlier, Putin said to be “convinced” that a dialogue was possible “effective” Y “Based on mutual respect” and recalled the summit between the two leaders in June in Geneva.
“Only the path of negotiations can solve the number of immediate problems between us,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov added later.
During the conversation, the second in less than a month, the US president will nonetheless insist that he remains “deeply concerned” by the presence of tens of thousands of Russian military personnel on the border with Ukraine and that he is “prepared to respond” in the event of an offensive, according to a senior White House official.
Russia, as the Russian-American negotiations on January 10 in Geneva draw closer, repeats over and over again that its priority is to negotiate two treaties that redefine the balance and security architecture in Europe.
For the Kremlin, Russia’s security involves prohibiting NATO from expanding and ending Western military activities in what Moscow considers its zone of influence.
According to Russia, its demands only seek to avoid a worsening of tensions, since Moscow considers the support of the United States, NATO and the European Union for Ukraine, whose government is pro-Western, as a direct threat to its interests.
The United States, accused of directing some international issues without much consultation with its allies, insists on coordinating closely with the Europeans and the Ukrainians.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelenski and his counterparts from France, Germany and the United Kingdom on Wednesday.
Zelenski claimed to have received guarantees of “Full American support” for “Fight a Russian attack.”
In the telephone interview in early December, Biden threatened Putin with sanctions “the likes of which he has never seen” if he attacks Ukraine.
Western countries have so far ruled out a military response to a possible Russian invasion, and the Kremlin has paid little heed to threats of sanctions.
Russia and its ruling elite are already the object of numerous economic reprisals from Western countries for the Ukrainian question and the repression in the country, but none of these measures has made the Kremlin change its attitude, rather the opposite.
Moscow denies threatening UkraineAlthough in 2014 it annexed its Crimean peninsula, and claims to act in response to hostility from the West backing Kiev, especially in its conflict against pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country.
The latter, although the Russian leaders deny it, are suspected of being under the command of the Kremlin.
For now, the January 10 negotiation in Geneva on Ukraine and strategic stability is announced tense. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has ruled out any “concessions” from the outset and the United States had already warned that some Russian requests were “unacceptable ”.
These discussions, led by US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and her Russian counterpart Sergey Riabkov, will be followed by a meeting between Russia and NATO on January 12 and another the following day in the framework of the Organization for Security and Safety. Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).