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Biden To Hold Video Call With Russian President Putin This Week

The White House has confirmed that President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will hold a video call on Tuesday, as tensions between the United States and Russia escalate over a Russian troop buildup on the Ukrainian border that’s seen as a sign of a potential invasion.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed plans for the conversation and said President Biden will underscore US concerns with Russian military activities on the border with Ukraine and “will reaffirm the United States support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” the press Secretary announced in the statement.

Psaki said other topics would include “strategic stability, cyber and regional issues.” The last known call between the leaders was on July 9, when Biden pressed Putin to rein in Russia-based criminal hacking gangs launching ransomware attacks against the United States.

Since Biden took office in January, the two leaders have had one face-to-face meeting, sitting down for talks in Geneva in June.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov first confirmed the Russian President’s video call with his US
counterpart. The exact timing of the call has not been disclosed.

Intelligence officials have determined that Russia has amassed about 70,000 troops near its border with Ukraine and has begun planning for a possible invasion as soon as early next year, according to a Biden administration official, who was not authorized to discuss that finding publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

“What I am doing is putting together what I believe to be, 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 worried he may do,” Biden said Friday.

Biden is also expected to speak with Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy this week, according to a person close to the Ukrainian leader.

 

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