Biden urges Putin to reduce tensions with Ukraine in new phone call

US President Joe Biden urged his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Thursday to reduce tensions with Ukraine during a phone call, the White House reported.

“He made it clear that the United States and its allies and partners will respond decisively if Russia invades more Ukraine,” House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement, referring to Biden’s message during the conversation.

However, Psaki also noted that The United States Supports Diplomacy “starting early next year with the bilateral Strategic Stability Dialogue, in NATO through the NATO-Russia Council, and in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.”

In addition, always according to the statement, Biden reiterated that the progress of the dialogues can take place in “an environment of de-escalation.”

White House officials said Thursday’s call began at 3:35 p.m. EST and ended 50 minutes later, after midnight in Moscow.

This is the second call, this month, between the two presidents. In the previous call, They spoke about what were then 70,000 soldiers gathered on the Russian side of the border with Ukraine, according to intelligence estimates from satellite images. But US intelligence analysts predict Putin plans to muster up to 175,000 troops.

The United States has repeatedly assured Ukraine of its support and provided tens of millions of dollars in defense assistance. On Wednesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

In a statement, Blinken reported that he “reiterated the unwavering support of the United States for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine in the face of Russian military development on the borders of Ukraine.”

The White House has repeatedly said that there will be “significant consequences” if Russia invades. These include tough economic sanctions and increased security support for Ukraine.

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