Putin and Biden wrap up video meeting after 2 hours of talks
A video conference between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Joe Biden has ended after just over two hours. The Kremlin had pledged the leaders would talk “for as long as it takes” to resolve their issues.
The much-anticipated video "summit" on Tuesday touched on a number of topics, including the American accusation that Russia is amassing troops to “invade” Ukraine, which Moscow has dismissed as “fake news.”
Contact at the highest level was “badly needed,” Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said before the call. The two countries have “multiplying problems,” he added, with no progress on bilateral relations.
A White House readout of the call said Biden voiced “deep concerns” of the US over Russia’s “escalation of forces surrounding Ukraine” and threatened “strong economic and other measures in the event of military escalation.” Ransomware and “regional issues such as Iran” were also brought up.
Biden is expected to contact Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, as well as the leaders of UK, France, Germany and Italy after his conversation with Putin, according to the White House. His national security adviser Jake Sullivan is scheduled to brief reporters on the call later in the day.
The only live meeting between Putin and Biden since the latter took office was in June. The Geneva summit was hailed as a potential breakthrough, but progress has since failed to materialize.
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