Biden, Russian President Putin Start Call

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US President expected to warn Russian counterpart against invasion of Ukraine

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Mr Biden is working with members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to defuse increasingly tense developments in Eastern Europe. Western European countries fear that a Russian invasion of Ukraine would represent a violation of that country’s sovereignty and create serious security implications for the continent at large.

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“We believe we have a way forward that will include substantial economic counterintelligence by both Europeans and the United States that would inflict significant severe economic damage on the Russian economy,” a senior Biden administration official said earlier Tuesday. Call. “We believe that there is a path here that will allow us to send a clear message to Russia that there will be real and meaningful and lasting costs to proceed with military escalation in Ukraine.”

Fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine rose last week, with US officials citing new intelligence reports about the creation of an army on the border. Officials said the expected total force of 175,000 soldiers would be nearly double the size of the buildup in the spring. The senior US official said that America has shared intelligence with allies.

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CIA Director William Burns, speaking at Businesshala’s CEO Council Summit in Washington on Monday, said intelligence agencies had not concluded whether Mr. Putin would launch an invasion. Russian leaders are assembling a military force that can “act in a very broad way,” he said, and may see an opportunity to do so this winter.

“I will never underestimate President Putin’s risk appetite for Ukraine,” Mr Burns said.

On Monday, Foreign Minister Antony Blinken spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Officials said Mr Biden was to speak with the Ukrainian leader after the call with Mr Putin.

The conflict in eastern Ukraine has become a turning point in deteriorating relations between Russia and the US since Moscow annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in 2014 and threw its support behind armed separatists in eastern Ukraine. But the latest iteration of tensions has reached boiling point, political analysts said.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday ahead of talks between Messrs. Putin and Biden, that the Russian president would be “ready to express his concerns to his American ally, to listen to the concerns of his American ally and to clarify them.”

“Putin has said repeatedly that we are looking for a good, predictable relationship with the United States,” Peskov said.

The presidential spokesman reiterated his earlier warning that “there is no need to expect any success from this dialogue.” “This is a working conversation in a very difficult period,” he said. “The escalation of tension in Europe has stopped. This is extraordinary and requires individual discussion at the highest level.”

Pavel Sharikov, a lead researcher at the Institute for Europe at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, said the conversation between the two presidents was very important.

“They are clearly important because there is a very decisive trend towards the isolation of Russia, particularly from Western democracies, and Russia regards the United States as the leader of the collective West. [so] Obviously direct communication with the President of the United States is always a big deal,” Mr. Sharikov said.

write to Vivian Salama at [email protected], Alex Leary at [email protected] and Ann M. Simmons at [email protected]

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