Biden Has Another Tense Call With Putin

Biden speaks with Putin, suggests summit

As a new report from American intelligence said Russian Federation was not seeking direct conflict with the United States, the White House revealed Biden had spoken by phone with Putin to propose a summit between the two leaders at a neutral venue.

Amid the recent tensions, the United States notified Turkey that two USA warships would sail to the Black Sea on April 14 and April 15 and stay there until May 4 and May 5.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba will pay a working visit to NATO Headquarters in Brussels on April 13, where he will take part in an extraordinary meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission to discuss Russia's aggravation of the security situation.

The Western alliance denies any such plans.

"Russia has moved thousands of combat troops to Ukraine's borders, the largest massing of Russian troops since the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014". They follow U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken's warning that Moscow would face "consequences" for aggressive behavior in eastern Ukraine, where increased clashes and Russian military buildup have sparked worldwide concern.

"By gathering today, we try to avoid the mistake that was made in 2014 when Russian Federation was ready to act swiftly and pursue its military goals", Kuleba said.

Kyiv has welcomed the show of Western support, but it falls short of Ukraine's desire for full membership of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Kuleba said Kyiv wanted a diplomatic solution, though he also appealed for further economic sanctions against Moscow and more military assistance to Ukraine.

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In contrast to former president Donald Trump's reluctance to criticize Putin, Biden came into office in January openly attacking what he says is the Kremlin's meddling in USA elections, mounting of a huge cyber attack past year, and the jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. "Over the last days, several Ukrainian soldiers have been killed in eastern Ukraine", he said. The White House added that Biden made clear that Russian Federation must "de-escalate tensions".

In a surprise move Tuesday, Biden also used the call to suggest a summit with Putin somewhere other than in the United States or Russian Federation.

The White House said that the two leaders "discussed a number of regional and global issues, including the intent of the United States and Russian Federation to pursue a strategic stability dialogue on a range of arms control and emerging security issues, building on the extension of the New START Treaty".

However, she expressed United States skepticism over how much could be achieved in relations with Putin's Russian Federation.

In the past three weeks, the Russian military has deployed two armies and three airborne formations to western regions "as a response to the alliance's military activities threatening Russia", the defence minister said.

In its readout of the Biden-Putin call, the Kremlin said "both sides expressed their readiness to continue dialogue on the most important areas of ensuring global security". A summit meeting was proposed.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation chief Stoltenberg expressed the Western military alliance's "unwavering" support for Ukraine during a news conference on Tuesday with Ukraine's foreign minister, calling the Russian movements "unjustified, unexplained and deeply concerning".

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