Putin and Biden hold 'tough talks' via video link
The presidents of Russia and the United States talked for more than two hours
The Russian and American leaders held their fifth talks and this time for the first time have tested secure video communication. The talks between Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden focused on the situation in Ukraine, bilateral relations, strategic stability, as well as NATO's advance to Russia's borders. The meeting of the two presidents was closed to the press, no statements were planned following the conversation. Nevertheless, the White House issued a brief release at the end of the summit. It is reported that the negotiations were held rigidly and in a one-on-one format. Read the details in the material of Realnoe Vremya.
On the eve of the talks between the presidents of Russia and the United States, Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden, the relations between the two states were not going through the best period. The situation is tense, the tense situation around Ukraine, NATO's advance to Russia's borders, the implementation of the Geneva agreements, regional security issues, and bilateral relations are on the agenda.
Financial Times publication added fuel to the fire, in which it was reported that the United States was trying to convince European leaders of a serious threat of invasion of Ukraine from Russia. Contradictions are aggravated. The West accuses Moscow of planning an “invasion” of Ukraine and is discussing the possibility of imposing new sanctions. Russia repudiates all claims. The previous mutual expulsions of diplomats do not add optimism either. First, the American side announced the departure of 54 Russian diplomats from its territory in 2022, then Russia's response followed.
Before the talks, the press secretary of the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, assumed that the conversation would be lengthy. Before the conversation with Putin, Biden had scheduled only a daily intelligence briefing. There were no other plans in the US president's schedule for December 7.
Putin's advisor Yury Ushakov noted that the situation in Afghanistan, Iran and Libya could be included in the agenda. The conversation is “quite thorough”, while no joint statements on its results have been planned yet.
The talks between the two leaders are the fifth in a row since Biden took office as the US president. Earlier, the heads of the two states spoke by phone three times, and in mid-June they held a face-to-face meeting in Geneva. The face-to-face conversation lasted almost 2 hours and, according to both sides, was constructive. The Geneva summit of Russia and the United States has been the first since 2018.
In the joint statement after the first meeting, the leaders stressed that the parties intend to launch a comprehensive bilateral dialogue on strategic stability, which will be substantive and energetic. Besides, Russia and the United States intend to start consultations on cybersecurity, prisoner exchange and arms control.
Meanwhile, former US President Donald Trump called this meeting an unequal match. On the air of Newsmax TV channel, he compared the talks between Putin and Biden with the game of the professional American football team New England Patriots and schoolchildren. According to Trump, as president, he always acted harshly towards Russia, although he liked Putin himself.
Important video call
At the beginning of the conversation, Putin greeted the American president with a smile, and Joe Biden, in turn, expressed hope that at the next meeting of the G20 he would meet with Putin in person.
The meeting started at 6:07 pm Moscow time. The conversation took place via the secure video link intended for communication between the leaders of the two countries. It was used for the first time. As previously reported in the Kremlin, the line was created “under previous administrations”, but it has been inactive so far and “in fact, it was maintained only in technical operability”. Vladimir Putin was at his residence in Sochi, and Joseph Biden was at the White House in Washington.
Nevertheless, it is reported that the negotiations were conducted strictly in the “one-on-one” format, the translators were in other rooms. Biden expressed the deep concern of the United States and its European allies about the buildup of Russian military forces around Ukraine and made it clear that the United States and allies will respond to the military escalation with powerful economic and other measures. Joe Biden also stressed support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and called for de-escalation of the conflict and a return to diplomacy. The US President warned that in the event of a military escalation in Ukraine, the United States and its allies will respond with economic and other measures.
According to the data of Investing.com, the ruble strengthened to 73,9 per dollar during the negotiations.
The talks between Putin and Biden by video link lasted a little more than two hours and ended at 8:08 pm Moscow time. According to Bloomberg, after the talks with Putin, Biden will discuss their results with the leaders of Germany, France, the UK and Italy.
There were no details of the negotiations at first, but shortly after the meeting, the White House announced:
“The US President held a secure video call with President Putin of Russia today to discuss a range of topics in the U.S.-Russia relationship, including our concerns about Russian military activities on the border with Ukraine, cyber, and regional issues.”
The Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reacted to the meeting. Vienna considers the dialogue between Putin and Biden important and timely against the background of the “alarming situation” around Ukraine.