Biden proposes summit, raises Ukraine escalation in call with Putin

Biden proposes summit, raises Ukraine escalation in call with Putin”

The White House and the Kremlin reported only the second conversation between the two since Biden took office in January, after Western officials urged Moscow to end the build-up and Russian Federation, in words recalling the Cold War, said its "adversary" should keep United States warships well away from the Crimea region. There is growing concern in the West about a surge of cease-fire violations in eastern Ukraine, where Russia-backed separatists and Ukrainian forces have been locked in a conflict since Moscow's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula.

"The U.S. stands firmly behind the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Ukraine", Blinken told Kuleba at the start of their meeting at the residence of the U.S. ambassador to Belgium, a post once held by Blinken's uncle.

Biden also told Putin the USA would "act firmly in defence of its national interests" regarding Russian cyber intrusions and election interference, according to the White House.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said Tuesday the buildup was part of readiness drills in response to what he described as threats from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and he said the manoeuvres in western Russia would last for two more weeks.

Days after that call, Biden said in a speech before State Department officials that the days of the U.S.

Tensions remain high in the Donbass border region which has been dogged by conflict between Ukraine troops and separatists since 2014.

The Western alliance denies any such plans.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Peskov said the two men had agreed that the possibility of their meeting would be discussed through diplomatic channels. We don't believe in such terminology: "price, retribution and so on", he said.

Russian Federation has regularly accused North Atlantic Treaty Organisation of destabilizing Europe with its troop reinforcements in the Baltics and Poland since the annexation of Crimea. "We warn the USA that it should stay away from Crimea and our Black Sea coast for their own benefit". He called the United States deployment a provocation created to test Russian nerves.

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Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba will pay a working visit to NATO Headquarters in Brussels on April 13, where he will take part in an extraordinary meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission to discuss Russia's aggravation of the security situation.

"Russia must end this military build-up in and around Ukraine, stop its provocations and de-escalate immediately", Stoltenberg said at a news conference with Kuleba.

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

Russian Federation has said it moves its forces around as it sees fit, including for defensive purposes. They follow U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken's warning that Moscow would face "consequences" for aggressive behavior in eastern Ukraine, where increased clashes and Russian military buildup have sparked global concern.

Finally, asked to comment on whether Alexei Navalny, the Russian opposition vlogger whom the U.S. and its allies accused Moscow of poisioning, was brought up in the Putin-Biden telephone talks, Peskov said his name was not mentioned.

Biden said in a March interview that he agreed Putin is a "killer". The White House added that Biden made clear that Russian Federation must "de-escalate tensions".

The Biden-Putin call came as Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba met in Brussels with top officials of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation nations including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the transatlantic alliance's chief, Jens Stoltenberg.

President Biden spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday and proposed that they meet for a summit "in a third country in the coming months", according to the White House.

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