Biden to phone Ukrainian president on Sunday

Biden telephones Sunday to Ukrainian President

MISE & Agrave; DAY

Joe Biden will phone Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday after warning his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin this week against any attempted invasion of the country, the White House announced on Friday.

The president “will reaffirm American support for the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” said a White House official.

Joe Biden “will discuss Russian military deployment on Ukraine's borders and review preparations for upcoming diplomatic meetings aimed at easing tension in the region,” the official added.

Volodymyr Zelensky said in a tweet he was impatient to discuss with the American president “the means of coordinating our actions in the interest of peace in Urkaine and security in Europe”.

By Elsewhere, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that he had telephoned NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Friday. In a tweet, the US foreign minister called on Russia to “participate seriously” in negotiations aimed at de-escalating tensions around Ukraine.

Kiev and its Western allies accuse Moscow of having massed tens of thousands of soldiers on the country's borders in anticipation of a possible invasion.

NATO is “united” and “ready for dialogue”, Mr. & nbsp; Stoltenberg tweeted.

The United States and Russia are scheduled to hold talks on Ukraine January 10-11 in Geneva. Led by US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and her Russian counterpart Sergei Riabkov, they will be followed on January 12 by a Russia-NATO meeting, then on January 13 by a meeting within the framework of the OSCE./p>

The United States, accused of leading certain international issues without too much regard for its allies, insists precisely on close coordination with the Europeans and the Ukrainians.

More than 100,000 Russian soldiers are massed near the borders of Ukraine, of which Russia has already annexed part of the territory, Crimea, in 2014. Moscow is also widely regarded as the godfather of pro-Russian separatists in the conflict which is tearing apart the east of the country for almost eight years.

Joe Biden threatened Vladimir Putin with a firm response to any Russian invasion in Ukraine, during a telephone exchange on Thursday in which the Russian president said that new sanctions against Moscow would be “a colossal mistake”.

After this he 50-minute telephone conversation, the second in less than a month, the two men nevertheless praised the diplomatic route out of the crisis.

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