Biden, Putin hold phone call amid heightened tensions over Ukraine

US President Joe Biden spoke with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on phone amid heightened tensions over Ukraine.

Biden on Thursday urged Russia to “de-escalate tensions with Ukraine” and made it clear that the US and its allies and partners will “respond decisively if Russia further invades Ukraine,” according to a statement by White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki on the phone call.

The US President expressed support for diplomacy, starting early next year with the bilateral Strategic Stability Dialogue at NATO through the NATO-Russia Council, and at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, said the statement.

Biden reiterated that “substantive progress in these dialogues can occur only in an environment of de-escalation rather than

escalation,” the statement added.

Thursday’s phone call was the second conversation between Biden and Putin in December. The two leaders spoke on December 7 in a video conference that ended with a pledge to restart diplomatic discussions, Xinhua news agency reported.




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