On Thursday, US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin traded threats in a phone chat regarding Ukraine, which authorities described as “serious” and “substantive.”
Biden warned Putin of “serious costs and consequences” if Ukraine is invaded, while Putin warned Biden of a “complete rupture” in ties if the US placed sanctions on Russia during the 50-minute talk, which was requested by Putin.
In a summary of the call, White House press secretary Jen Psaki stated, “President Biden reiterated that substantive progress in these dialogues can only occur in an environment of de-escalation rather than escalation.”
In a background call with reporters, a senior Biden administration official said that the American leader effectively set out two routes for Putin. A diplomatic approach in which Russia uses established diplomatic channels to address its disputes with Ukraine.
“And those costs include economic costs, include adjustments and augmentations of NATO force posture in Allied countries, and include additional assistance to Ukraine to enable it to further defend itself and its territory, as we’ve laid out previously,” the official said.
On the conversation, the US president also stated that all of his decisions on this matter would be made in conjunction with friends and partners, based on the concept of “nothing about you without you.”
“There will be no discussions about issues that are of paramount concern to our partners and allies without their full consultation and participation,” the official stated.
This was their second phone contact in a month, and it occurred amid escalating tensions between the two nations over Russia’s military buildup along Ukraine’s border, which has created the specter of another invasion, similar to the troop buildup that preceded the takeover of Crimea in 2014.
Even as they traded cautions, the two presidents indicated hope and a determination to continue bilateral engagement.
President Biden also indicated support for diplomacy, which will begin early next year with the bilateral Strategic Stability Dialogue, the NATO-Russia Council, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). “President Biden emphasized that substantive progress in these discussions can only be made in a de-escalation rather than escalation environment,” Psaki added.