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'2014 will not happen again': Biden was harsh with Putin during negotiations about Ukraine

According to the chief adviser, Biden told Putin that “what we did not do in 2014, we are ready to do now” if Russia aggravates the situation in Ukraine, reports CNN.

Photo: Shutterstock

The White House says President Joe Biden told Russian President Vladimir Putin on December 7 that the United States is ready to take drastic economic measures should Russia invade Ukraine.

These new measures will deal a bigger blow than the sanctions imposed in 2014, which did not help stop Russia from occupying Crimea.

“I’ll look you in the eye and tell you exactly the way President Biden looked Putin in the eye and told him today that what we didn’t do in 2014, we’re ready to do now,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters after Biden's conversation with Putin.

Over the past several months, Russia has established supply lines, including medical units and fuel, that could withstand a protracted conflict should Moscow decide to invade Ukraine, two sources familiar with the latest intelligence estimates said.

And recent US intelligence data estimates Russia could launch a military offensive in Ukraine within months as it musters up to 175 troops along the border.

Sullivan said the administration still believes Putin has yet to make a decision on whether to launch a military offensive against Ukraine.

Sullivan did not go into details, but added that the United States is coordinating its actions with its European allies "at a deep level of specificity."

He said that Biden "was direct and straightforward with President Putin as always," later adding that "there have been so many mutual concessions, but now this is not just a warning, the President has made the United States' position very clear on all of these issues."

"It was a real discussion," he added, "it was not speeches."

Sullivan said that along with the economic implications mentioned in the call, Biden conveyed that the US is ready to bolster defense capabilities in the region.

“He reaffirmed America's support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. He told President Putin bluntly that in the event of a further Russian invasion of Ukraine, the United States and our European allies would respond with decisive economic measures, ”Sullivan said.

“We would provide the Ukrainians with additional defensive assets on top of what we already provide. And we will strengthen our NATO allies on the eastern flank with additional capabilities in response to this escalation, ”he added.

“Another option,” Sullivan said. "This is de-escalation and diplomacy."

“The United States and our European allies will engage in broader strategic discussions, including our strategic interests with Russia and Russia's strategic interests. We succeeded in doing this at the height of the Cold War, and we developed mechanisms to help reduce instability and increase transparency, ”he said.

Video call

Earlier on December 7, Biden and Putin talked for about two hours over a secure communication channel.

The two presidents directed their respective teams to continue discussions, with the White House adding that "the United States will do this in close coordination with allies and partners."

In addition to the Ukrainian issue, the leaders of the two countries discussed "a dialogue between the United States and Russia on strategic stability, a separate issue on cybercrimes, as well as joint work on regional issues such as Iran," the White House said.

A photo from the White House shows a meeting that began at 10:07 am ET and ended at 12:08 pm. ET, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, Sullivan and Senior Director for Russia and Central Asia Eric Green are seen sitting next to Biden in the situation room during the video call.

The two leaders attended the Geneva summit last June.

Their last publicly known call was in July.

Later in the afternoon on December 7, Biden spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson - the same group of European allies with whom he conferred on December 6 evening.

On the subject: US officially boycotts Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics

December 7 marks Merkel's last full-time day in power.

Biden briefed allies on Putin's call and, according to the White House, "the leaders underlined their support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as the need for Russia to ease tensions and engage in diplomacy."

Sullivan said during a press briefing on December 7 that the White House team took stock with the embassies of NATO members, European Union members and key allies in the Indo-Pacific region following the US-Russia talks.

Biden will speak with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on December 9.

Biden is also expected to speak with leaders of both houses of Congress to discuss “ways in which the administration and Congress can work together on a bipartisan basis to advance American interests and values ​​and support our friends and partners,” Sullivan said.

The Kremlin called the conversation "honest and businesslike", reports NewYorkTimes.

The Russian side said that Ukraine was the "predominant" topic of the conversation, and Biden "emphasized the allegedly" threatening "nature of the movement of Russian troops near the Ukrainian borders and outlined the sanctions measures that the United States and its allies will apply in case of further exacerbation of the situation."

“In response, Vladimir Putin stressed that responsibility should not be shifted onto the shoulders of Russia, since it is NATO that is making dangerous attempts to conquer Ukrainian territory and is building up its military potential near our borders,” the Kremlin said in a statement.

"Therefore, Russia is seriously interested in obtaining reliable, legally enshrined guarantees that exclude NATO expansion eastward and the deployment of offensive strike weapons systems in states adjacent to Russia," the statement said.

Putin's adviser Yuri V. Ushakov later told reporters that Mr. Biden raised the issue of the shared casualties of the United States and the Soviet Union during World War II, and that the two leaders even joked and "exchanged compliments" from time to time.

Yuri Ushakov told reporters during a December 7 conference call that the Russian president told Biden that while Americans are worried about Russian troops thousands of kilometers from the United States, Moscow is "really concerned about our security, the security of Russia on a global scale."

When asked if Putin had promised Biden that he would not use his troops in Ukraine, Ushakov rejected the idea of ​​an invasion.

“There wasn’t even such a discussion. What do you mean by the introduction of troops, that this is an invasion, or what? This was out of the question, ”Ushakov said.

Measures under consideration

In recent days, US officials have pondered whether to impose large-scale sanctions on Russia to deter Putin from invading Ukraine.

These include new actions against members of Putin's inner circle and Russian energy producers, as well as one potential "nuclear option" - disconnecting Russia from the SWIFT international payment system used by banks around the world.

Officials said there were no final decisions on whether and when to apply the new sanctions, and said the Biden administration is currently in talks with European partners, many of whom have closer economic relations with Russia, in hopes of coordination. action.

Aside from economic sanctions, the administration is also exploring options for the potential evacuation of US citizens from Ukraine if Russia invades the country and creates a dire security situation, sources said.

The Pentagon is in charge of contingency planning, sources said, as the administration briefs Congress on how the United States is preparing.

In a "grim" briefing for senators by senior State Department official Victoria Nuland on the evening of December 6, Nuland spoke about the tough sanctions package the administration is preparing in response to a possible Russian attack, but acknowledged that the US has limited options to deter the invasion.

You may be interested in: top New York news, stories of our immigrants, and helpful tips about life in the Big Apple - read it all on ForumDaily New York.

Nuland said on December 7 that the US expects the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline "to be put on hold" if Russia moves into Ukraine.

This suggests that US private diplomacy has secured such a commitment from Germany, which will suffer financially if the pipeline is delayed or curtailed.

Russian companies have spent several years building the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany.

A project that the Biden administration is officially opposed to, as it could rob Ukraine of revenues from another pipeline that runs through its territory and give Putin additional leverage, such as Europe's energy reserves.

But to avoid disagreement with the German government, Mr Biden rejected congressional sanctions against Germany aimed at stopping the project, sparking the ire of many Republicans and some Democrats.

But the White House said that while there is talk with Germany about the pipeline in the context of a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine, taking action may not necessarily be the most effective means of deterring Russian aggression.

The European Union “continues to fully support Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on December 7.

“We will respond to any further aggression by increasing and expanding existing sanctions,” she added.

She also said that the EU "is ready to take additional restrictive measures in agreement with our partners."

“The rise of extremism and autocracy can also be a security issue for countries. In this context, we should also talk about Russian military movements and their massive build-up of force along the eastern border of Ukraine, ”she continued.

As ForumDaily wrote earlier:

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