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President Biden Says He ‘Made It Clear’ to Putin That Russia ‘Cannot Move On’ Ukraine, Will Speak With Zelensky

President Biden Says He ‘Made It Clear’ to Putin That Russia ‘Cannot Move On’ Ukraine, Will Speak With Zelensky

President Joe Biden said on Friday he made it clear to Russian President Vladimir Putin during their call a day earlier that he cannot “move on Ukraine.”

President Biden said Friday he told Putin that there will be a “heavy price to pay” if Russia invades Ukraine. “We made it clear to President Putin that if he makes any more moves, goes into Ukraine, we will have severe sanctions. We will increase our presence in Europe with our NATO allies, and it’ll just be a heavy price to pay for it,” President Biden said to reporters after a New Year’s Eve lunch in Wilmington, Delaware.

Putin again offered little clues to his intentions, officials said. Instead, the two men held what a US official described as a “serious and substantive” discussion, during which President Biden laid out two paths for Putin as he continues to amass Russian troops on the border with Ukraine: one a diplomatic route toward de-escalation and one focused on deterrence using economic sanctions, enhanced US troop presence on NATO’s eastern flank and increased assistance to Ukraine.

The President said that Putin has agreed to three upcoming conferences in Europe, including US-Russia diplomatic talks led by US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman on January 10th in Geneva and Russia-NATO talks on January 12.

During his call with Putin on Thursday, President Biden urged the Russian leader to take steps to ease the crisis on his nation’s border with Ukraine, warning again of dire economic consequences should Putin proceed with an invasion. Putin told President Biden that introducing a new round of sanctions against Russia would amount to a “colossal mistake” that could lead to a complete breakdown of relations between the two countries.

 

 

President Biden is scheduled to speak with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday, a White House official said. The President plans to reaffirm US support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, discuss Russia’s military build-up on Ukraine’s borders, and review preparations for upcoming diplomatic engagements to help de-escalate the situation in the region.”

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