Breaking News
0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Biden proposes summit with Putin after Russia calls U.S. 'adversary' over Ukraine

WorldApr 13, 2021 04:11PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
3/3 © Reuters. Snipers of the Ukrainian armed forces aim their rifles during training in Donetsk region 2/3

By Humeyra Pamuk and Andrew Osborn

WASHINGTON/MOSCOW (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden called on Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday to reduce tensions stirred by a Russian military build-up on Ukraine's border and proposed a summit of the estranged leaders to tackle a raft of disputes.

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 Russia, in words recalling the Cold War, said its "adversary" should keep U.S. warships well away from the Crimea region.

Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and fighting has increased in recent weeks in eastern Ukraine, where government forces have battled Russian-backed separatists in a seven-year conflict that Kyiv says has killed 14,000 people.

In a sign of concern about tensions spinning out of control in the Ukraine crisis, Biden phoned Putin to propose they meet in a third country while underlining U.S. commitment to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

"President Biden also made clear that the United States will act firmly in defense of its national interests in response to Russia's actions, such as cyber intrusions and election interference," the White House said in a statement.

"The president voiced our concerns over the sudden Russian military build-up in occupied Crimea and on Ukraine’s borders, and called on Russia to de-escalate tensions," it said.

RUSSIA: BUILD-UP IS THREE-WEEK DRILL

In the first public Russian description of the build-up, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Moscow had moved two armies and three paratrooper units to its western border as part of a large snap drill meant to test combat readiness and respond to what he called threatening military action by NATO.

Shoigu said on state TV that the three-week exercise, which he called successful, was due to wrap up in the next two weeks.

Shoigu said NATO was deploying 40,000 troops and 15,000 pieces of military equipment near Russia's borders, mainly in the Black Sea and the Baltic regions.

The Western alliance denies any such plans.

A senior U.S. State Department official told reporters: "We know Russia's capacity. This enormous build-up that they've made militarily ... to take aggressive action, but we don't know their intentions obviously," the official said.

Russia has regularly accused NATO of destabilizing Europe with its troop reinforcements in the Baltics and Poland since the annexation of Crimea.

BIDEN'S GOALS FOR SUMMIT

Biden also reaffirmed a goal to build "a stable and predictable relationship" with Russia and said a meeting in the coming months could address "the full range of issues" facing the two world powers, the statement said.

The Kremlin said in its account of the call that Biden told Putin he wanted to normalize relations and to cooperate on arms control, Iran's nuclear program, Afghanistan and climate change. It confirmed Biden had proposed a high level meeting but did not indicate how the Russian leader responded.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken echoed the White House message during talks on the crisis in Brussels with NATO leaders and Ukraine's foreign minister.

Blinken also said he would discuss Kyiv's ambitions to one day join NATO - although France and Germany have long worried that bringing the former Soviet republic into the Western alliance would antagonize Russia.

"The United States is our adversary and does everything it can to undermine Russia's position on the world stage," Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies on Tuesday.

His remarks suggest that the diplomatic niceties which the old Cold War enemies have generally sought to observe in recent decades is fraying, and that Russia would robustly push back against what it regards as unacceptable U.S. interference in its geographical sphere of influence.

Andrew Weiss, a Russia analyst at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said Biden's exchange with Putin reflected U.S. concern about Ukraine and a desire to work with Russia where they may have common interests.

"There's an urgent need to send a signal directly to Putin that what Russia is doing in and around Ukraine is dangerous and destabilizing, even as other parts of the administration try not to foreclose cooperation on issues such as the Iran nuclear deal, Afghanistan, climate change and strategic stability."

U.S. WARSHIPS

Two U.S. warships are due to arrive in the Black Sea this week in response to what U.S. and NATO officials say is the largest massing of Russian forces - with thousands of combat-ready troops - since Moscow seized Crimea from Ukraine.

"We warn the United States that it will be better for them to stay far away from Crimea and our Black Sea coast," Ryabkov said. "It will be for their own good. He called the U.S. deployment a provocation designed to test Russian nerves.

Blinken met Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in Brussels after Group of Seven foreign ministers condemned what they said was the unexplained rise in Russian troop numbers.

Echoing NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who met Kuleba earlier, Blinken said Moscow's military actions on Ukraine's doorstep were "very provocative".

"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 NATO.

Kuleba said Kyiv wanted a diplomatic solution, though he also appealed for further economic sanctions against Moscow and more military assistance to Ukraine.

Separately, two diplomats said Stoltenberg would chair a video conference with allied defense and foreign ministers on Wednesday. Blinken and U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin were to be present at NATO headquarters to brief the other 29 allies on Ukraine, as well as on Afghanistan, the diplomats said.

Biden proposes summit with Putin after Russia calls U.S. 'adversary' over Ukraine
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email