The White House announced on Saturday that President Biden and Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinActing U.S. ambassador to Ukraine: Embassy families evacuated out of 'abundance of caution' Overnight Energy & Environment — 'Forever chemical' suits face time crunch US shipment of military equipment, munitions arrives in Ukraine MORE will talk next week amid a Russian military buildup on the border with Ukraine.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed the Tuesday video call to Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti on Saturday, according to The Associated Press.
Peskov said the call will last for however long Biden and Putin decide. The U.S. source said Ukraine and other issues will be addressed during the meeting.
The meeting comes after an intelligence document was seen by The Washington Post that indicated Russia could invade Ukraine early next year with 175,000 troops.
“The Russian plans call for a military offensive against Ukraine as soon as early 2022 with a scale of forces twice what we saw this past spring during Russia’s snap exercise near Ukraine’s borders,” an administration official told the Post. “The plans involve extensive movement of 100 battalion tactical groups with an estimated 175,000 personnel, along with armor, artillery and equipment.”
The tension comes as Russia is demanding Ukraine not be admitted into NATO, with the U.S. firing back, saying Russia does not get to decide which countries NATO allows in.
Biden strongly condemned Russia’s actions at the Ukraine border on Friday, saying the U.S. will “make it very, very difficult” for Putin to attack.
“I have been in constant contact with our allies in Europe, with the Ukrainians. My secretary of State, national security adviser have been engaged extensively and what I am doing is putting together what I believe will be the most comprehensive and meaningful set of initiatives to make it very, very difficult for Mr. Putin to go ahead and do what people are worried he may do,” Biden said.
The Hill has reached out to the White House and State Department for comment.
— Updated at 5:15 p.m.