Biden ‘makes clear’ Putin will face a ‘decisive response’ should Russia invade Ukraine

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This is the second time the two top leaders have held talks over the much-talked-over issue. A statement released by Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary stated: “President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke today with President Vladimir Putin of Russia.

“President Biden urged Russia to de-escalate tensions with Ukraine.

“He made clear that the United States and its allies and partners will respond decisively if Russia further invades Ukraine.”

Biden, who is spending the week in his home state of Delaware, spoke to Putin from his home near Wilmington.

The White House distributed a picture of the president speaking to the Russian leader from a desk lined with family photos.

The call came ahead of a US-Russia security meeting in Geneva on 9 and 10 January, followed by a Russia-NATO session on 12 January, and a broader conference including Moscow, Washington and other European countries on 13 January.

Putin, who held a video call with Biden on 7 December, has compared the current tensions to the cold-war era Cuban missile crisis in 1962.

He denies planning to attack Ukraine and insists that Russia has the right to move its troops on its own soil.

The statement further stated: “President Biden also expressed support for diplomacy, starting early next year with the bilateral Strategic Stability Dialogue, at NATO through the NATO-Russia Council, and at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

“President Biden reiterated that substantive progress in these dialogues can occur only in an environment of de-escalation rather than escalation.”

Russia has alarmed the US and its allies by massing tens of thousands of troops near its border with Ukraine over the past two months.

This follows its seizure of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in 2014 and its backing of separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine’s defence minister told parliament at the start of December that Russia had massed tens of thousands of troops near the border, and could be gearing up for a large-scale military offensive at the end of January.

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Ukraine has not been offered NATO membership but has close ties with the bloc.

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