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Biden and Putin to speak Thursday amid tensions over Ukraine

President Biden speaks to Russian President Vladimir Putin from the White House on Tuesday, December 7, 2021. The White House

President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin will speak on the phone on Thursday, the White House said Wednesday. The call was requested by Putin, a White House official said.

The White House said the two leaders will discuss “a range of topics, including upcoming diplomatic engagements with Russia.”

The two held a video call earlier this month, with Mr. Biden telling Putin he had “deep concerns” about Russia’s buildup of troops near the border with Ukraine. The White House said Mr. Biden told Putin the U.S. would pursue “strong economic and other measures” in the event of an invasion.

The White House said on Wednesday that Mr. Biden continues to coordinate with European allies for “a common approach in response to Russia’s military build-up on the border with Ukraine.”

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said Blinken “reiterated the United States’ unwavering support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s military buildup on Ukraine’s borders.”

U.S. intelligence has warned that Russia could invade Ukraine as early as January, a U.S. official told CBS News earlier this month. Russia has built up an estimated 100,000 troops near the Ukrainian border.  In 2014, Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula and amassed troops along the border.



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