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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Biden and Putin to speak next week as tensions rise over Ukraine

The president, Joe Biden, and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, will speak by phone next Tuesday, at a time when tensions between the United States and Russia are intensifying due to the increase in troops that country on the Ukrainian border, which which is considered a sign of a possible invasion

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed plans for the long-awaited call on Saturday, saying it will take place in the afternoon.

According to the news agency The Associated Press, US intelligence officials determined that Russia has concentrated some 70,000 troops near its border with Ukraine and began planning a possible invasion that could be carried out as early as early next year. , according to a Biden Administration official who was not authorized to discuss that finding publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Biden and Putin met in June at the ‘Villa la Grange’ in Geneva, Switzerland Patrick Semansky / AP

The risks to Putin are enormous US officials and former diplomats say that while the Russian president is clearly laying the groundwork for a possible invasion, the Ukrainian military is better armed and prepared today than in the past, and that the sanctions the West is threatening would seriously harm the Russian economy

“What I’m doing is putting together what I think it will be, the most comprehensive and meaningful set of initiatives to make it very, very difficult for Mr Putin to go ahead and do what people are concerned he can do,” Biden said. Friday

Ukrainian officials have said Russia could invade the country next month Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov assured that they estimate that there are 94,300 Russian troops near Ukraine and in the Crimean peninsula, annexed to Russia and that there could be an “escalation” in January.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently denounced that a group of Russians and citizens of his country planned to attempt a coup He added that conspirators tried to enlist the help of Ukraine’s richest man, Rinat Akhmetov

Russia and Akhmetov have denied a plot is underway, but the Russians have recently become more explicit in their warnings to Ukraine and the United States.

According to a person close to the Ukrainian leader, Biden is also scheduled to speak with Zelensky next week.According to The Associated Press, this person was not authorized to comment publicly before the announcement of the call and also spoke on condition of anonymity.

According to the Kremlin, on the call, Putin would seek binding guarantees that prevent NATO expansion into Ukraine.

On this, Biden limited himself to saying on Friday that he does not accept “anyone’s red line.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the Administration would coordinate with European allies if it moved forward with sanctions The official alluded to Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula had been under the control of Ukraine since 1954

“We know what President Putin has done in the past,” said Psaki.

Relations between the United States and Russia have been difficult since Biden took office.

His Administration has imposed sanctions against Russian targets and called Putin’s attention for Kremlin interference in US elections, cyber activity against US companies and the treatment of opponent Alexei Navalny, who was poisoned last year and subsequently jailed

When Putin and Biden met in Geneva in June, Biden warned that if Russia crossed certain red lines, including going after major US infrastructures, their would respond and “the consequences of that would be devastating.”

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