Biden proposes summit with Putin after Russia calls US ‘adversary’ over Ukraine – Times of India

WASHINGTON/MOSCOW: US President Joe Biden known as on Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday to scale back tensions stirred by a Russian navy construct-up on Ukraine‘s border and proposed a summit of the estranged leaders to deal with a raft of disputes.
The White House and the Kremlin reported solely the second dialog between the 2 since Biden took workplace in January, after Western officers urged Moscow to finish the construct-up and Russia, in phrases recalling the Cold War, mentioned its “adversary” ought to maintain U.S. warships effectively away from the Crimea area.
Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and combating has elevated in latest weeks in japanese Ukraine, the place authorities forces have battled Russian-backed separatists in a seven-12 months battle that Kyiv says has killed 14,000 individuals.
In an indication of concern about tensions spinning out of management within the Ukraine disaster, Biden phoned Putin to suggest they meet in a 3rd nation whereas underlining U.S. dedication to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“President Biden also made clear that the United States will act firmly in defense of its national interests in response to Russia’s actions, such as cyber intrusions and election interference,” the White House mentioned in an announcement.
“The president voiced our concerns over the sudden Russian military build-up in occupied Crimea and on Ukraine’s borders, and called on Russia to de-escalate tensions,” it mentioned.
Biden additionally reaffirmed a aim to construct “a stable and predictable relationship” with Russia and mentioned a gathering within the coming months might deal with “the full range of issues” going through the 2 world powers, the assertion mentioned.
The Kremlin mentioned in its account of the decision that Biden informed Putin he needed to normalise relations and to cooperate on arms management, Iran’s nuclear programme, Afghanistan and local weather change. It confirmed Biden had proposed a excessive stage assembly however didn’t point out how the Russian chief responded.
Earlier on Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in Brussels for talks with NATO leaders and Ukraine’s international minister, echoed Biden, saying Washington stood firmly behind Ukraine.
Blinken additionally mentioned he would focus on Kyiv’s ambitions to in the future be part of NATO – though France and Germany have lengthy anxious that bringing the previous Soviet republic into the Western alliance would antagonise Russia.
“The United States is our adversary and does everything it can to undermine Russia’s position on the world stage,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as saying by Russian information businesses on Tuesday.
His remarks counsel that the diplomatic niceties which the outdated Cold War enemies have typically sought to look at in latest a long time is fraying, and that Russia would robustly push again towards what it regards as unacceptable U.S. interference in its geographical sphere of affect.
Two U.S. warships are as a consequence of arrive within the Black Sea this week in response to what U.S. and NATO officers say is the biggest massing of Russian forces – with hundreds of fight-prepared troops – since Moscow seized Crimea from Ukraine.
“We warn the United States that it will be better for them to stay far away from Crimea and our Black Sea coast,” Ryabkov mentioned. “It will be for their own good. He called the U.S. deployment a provocation designed to test Russian nerves.
Blinken met Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in Brussels after Group of Seven foreign ministers condemned what they said was the unexplained rise in Russian troop numbers.
Echoing NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who met Kuleba earlier, Blinken said Moscow’s military actions on Ukraine’s doorstep were “very provocative”.
“Russia should finish this navy construct-up in and round Ukraine, cease its provocations and de-escalate instantly,” Stoltenberg said at a news conference with Kuleba.
Russia has said it moves its forces around as it sees fit, including for defensive purposes. It has regularly accused NATO of destabilising Europe with its troop reinforcements in the Baltics and Poland since the annexation of Crimea.
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday Russia had moved two armies and three paratrooper units to near its western borders in the last three weeks, responding to what it called threatening military action by NATO.
Shoigu, speaking on state television, said NATO was deploying 40,000 troops near Russia’s borders, mainly in the Black Sea and the Baltic regions.
“In complete, 40,000 troops and 15,000 weapons and items of navy gear are concentrated close to our territory, together with strategic plane,” Shoigu mentioned.
The Western alliance denies any such plans.
Kyiv has welcomed the present of Western assist, but it surely falls quick of Ukraine’s want for full membership of NATO.
Kuleba mentioned Kyiv needed a diplomatic answer.
Kyiv and Moscow have traded blame over the worsening state of affairs within the japanese Donbass area. Kuleba appealed for additional financial sanctions towards Moscow and extra navy assist to Kyiv. This may very well be direct assist geared toward strengthening Ukraine’s defence capabilities.
Separately, two diplomats mentioned Stoltenberg would chair a video convention with allied defence and international ministers on Wednesday. Blinken and U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin have been to be current at NATO headquarters to temporary the opposite 29 allies on Ukraine, in addition to on Afghanistan, the diplomats mentioned.

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