Kremlin Reveals Details About Putin-Biden Phone Call

Joe Biden

President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House Thursday

"President Biden also made clear that the United States will act firmly in defence of its national interests in response to Russia's actions, such as cyber intrusions and election interference", the White House said in a brief statement.

Wolters also repeated calls for more naval assets, particularly the need for two more destroyers to be based in Rota, Spain, where four USA warships are stationed.

Blinken accused Russia of taking "very provocative" actions that have alarmed Ukraine and the West. Stoltenberg, meanwhile, called the Russian movements "unjustified, unexplained and deeply concerning".

The Western alliance denies any such plans.

The Ukrainian foreign minister and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member countries will discuss Russia's aggravation of the security situation along the Ukrainian-Russian border and in the temporarily occupied Crimea, as well as effective ways of supporting Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity by the Alliance. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Kyiv welcomed the support and urged Western countries to make clear to Moscow that it would pay a price for its "aggression".

In separate meetings with Ukraine's foreign minister, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation chief Jens Stoltenberg expressed serious concern about Russian Federation deploying the largest concentration of troops near the Ukraine border since 2014.

Earlier, at news conference with Kuleba at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation headquarters, Stoltenberg said the alliance was united in its "unwavering" support for Ukraine.

Russian Federation has said it moves its forces around as it sees fit, including for defensive purposes.

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

In his first call with Putin as president in late January, Biden raised concerns about the arrest of Navalny, Russia's alleged involvement in a vast cyberespionage campaign and reports of Russian bounties on American troops in Afghanistan. "Over the last days, several Ukrainian soldiers have been killed in eastern Ukraine", he said.

"President Biden reaffirmed his goal of building a stable and predictable relationship with Russian Federation consistent with USA interests, and proposed a summit meeting in a third country in the coming months to discuss the full range of issues facing the United States and Russian Federation", a White House readout said. The White House added that Biden made clear that Russian Federation must "de-escalate tensions".

Putin similarly held a summit in Finland in 2018 with Trump, who caused a furor at home by appearing to ignore his own intelligence community's assessment and to accept the Russian leader's denials of election meddling.

"What we're working toward is predictable and stable".

The Kremlin on its part noted that the two leaders were ready to "continue dialogue" to ensure global security. A summit meeting was proposed.

Ahead of Austin's visit to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation headquarters, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg convened with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and called on Moscow to de-escalate the situation.

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