Administration

Kremlin says Putin, Biden agreed to more discussions

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The Kremlin on Sunday said President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed during a highly anticipated call last week amid mounting tensions centered around Ukraine to hold more discussions in the future.

“[We will] definitely see each other, I would really want that to happen,” Putin told Biden, according to a video released on Russian state TV, Rossiya 1, that was cited by Reuters.

The Kremlin, however, said it was too early to speculate over when the two presidents could meet in person, Reuters added.

Tensions between the two countries have escalated since Biden and Putin met face-to-face in June during a summit in Geneva. U.S. intelligence shows that Russia is planning a military offensive against Ukraine that could occur as early as next year. The scheme reportedly involves 175,000 troops near the border.

According to a readout of last week’s call from the White House, Biden “voiced the deep concerns of the United States and our European Allies about Russia’s escalation of forces surrounding Ukraine and made clear that the U.S. and our Allies would respond with strong economic and other measures in the event of military escalation.”

Biden  also emphasized his support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and called for de-escalation in the region and for the parties to return to diplomacy,

The two leaders also reportedly discussed strategic stability, ransomware and joint work on regional issues, including Iran.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a video released on state TV that Putin had no specific reason to be optimistic following his discussion with Biden because the two countries still disagree when it comes to Moscow’s “red lines” that it doesn’t want the west to violate, according to Reuters.

Russia has said it does not want specific offensive weapons to be used in countries around it, including Ukraine, and it does not want NATO to grow eastward, the news service reported.

During their call last week, Putin told Biden that the troops on the border are in Russian territory and do not present a threat to anyone,  Reuters noted.

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