On December 30, in the evening, Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin, the Presidents of the United States and Russia, held a telephone conversation. The conversation, initiated by the Russian leader, lasted 50 minutes.
According to the White House, Biden noted during the conversation that the United States and its allies will resort to a decisive response if Russia invades Ukraine. The American President spoke in support of the upcoming diplomatic talks with Russia scheduled for January 10-13. However, he added that progress from them can occur only subject to de-escalation.
The Russian President stressed that the imposition of new sanctions by the United States could result in a complete breaking off relations between the countries.
"The Russian side gave an exhaustive answer to the option, again mentioned by Joseph Biden, of imposing "large-scale" sanctions against Russia in case of escalating the situation around Ukraine. In particular, it was said that this would be a grave mistake that, in fact, is fraught with complete breaking off Russian-American relations," the Kremlin states.
Context. Now Russia is taking the same steps as in April of this year, and is pulling in troops and equipment to the borders. During the previous forces drawing upl, the United States and the EU threatened Russia with sanctions against Nord Stream 2, Russian oligarchs, and the country's disconnection from SWIFT.
In early December, Moscow stated that if new "hellish" sanctions were introduced, Russia would of course react. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed that such a step is a "road to a dead end," which, moreover, may turn against its initiators.
On December 7, Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin, the Presidents of the United States and Russia, held negotiations. After the negotiations, the White House and the Kremlin each published their own version of the course of the conversation and its results.