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Biden and Putin hold phone talks over Ukraine… Could it be an opportunity to ease tensions?

President Joe Biden (left) speaks during the first summit between US President Joe Biden (left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin at Villa La Grunge in Geneva, Switzerland, on June 16. Geneva = EPA

A phone call between the U.S. and Russian leaders was scheduled while the possibility of a Russian invasion of Ukraine was being discussed. It is noteworthy whether the turning point for resolving the Ukraine crisis will be prepared. While the US emphasized a diplomatic solution, it emphasized the withdrawal of Russian troops, and Russia is demanding a ban on NATO expansion, so the dialogue may run parallel.

The White House National Security Council (NSC) announced on the 29th that US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin had agreed to hold a phone call on the 30th (local time). The phone call between the two leaders is the first in 23 days since the video summit on the 7th. The call was made at the request of President Putin, the White House added.

The White House said the Biden administration would “continue extensive diplomatic contact with European allies and partners while coordinating and consulting a common approach to Russia’s response to troop buildup on the Ukrainian border.”

Tensions have risen since reports came out on the 3rd that Russia was planning to invade Ukraine by mobilizing 175,000 troops early next year. Four days later, the leaders of the mirror held a negotiation, but there was no clear result. However, on the 10th of next month, the U.S.-Russian deputy foreign ministers level, NATO and Russia on the 12th, and the US-Russia and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on the 13th are scheduled to discuss security guarantees. Russia is demanding the cessation of NATO’s eastward movement, including Ukraine’s cessation of NATO membership, as a security guarantee.

First of all, the United States pulled out all the two-sided books on Kangon. “President Biden will make it clear to Putin that we are ready for diplomatic and diplomatic progress, but we are ready to respond if Russia invades Ukraine further,” a senior Biden administration official said at a briefing. The US is putting pressure on Russia, waving stronger economic sanctions than when Russia annexed Crimea in Ukraine in 2014. The official also mentioned strengthening NATO’s readiness posture and stressed the need for a preemptive withdrawal of Russian troops.

In addition, US Secretary of State Tony Blincoln had a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on the same day, and pre-arrangements were completed before the summit meeting with the US mirror. It seems that the US has sought a diplomatic solution while confirming its support for Ukraine.

On the other hand, Putin held a summit meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukasenko in St. Belarus is Russia’s ‘outpost’ and a key ally on the Western front, which is in conflict with the European Union (EU) over immigration issues.

Moreover, it shares a border with Ukraine. The two leaders drew attention as they agreed to hold joint military exercises in Belarus in February or March next year.

Washington = Jeong-won Jeong correspondent

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