US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will have a telephone conversation today, January 30. The head of the Russian Federation initiated it, CNN reports.
White House National Security Council Spokesperson Emily Horne told the TV channel that Biden had agreed to the proposal because when it comes to the RF, "there is no substitute for direct leader-leader dialogue." The heads of the states "will discuss a range of topics, including upcoming diplomatic engagements with Russia" scheduled for January 10—13. The telephone conversation will take place at 3:30 pm ET (10:30 pm Kyiv time).
A source in the Biden administration also told reporters the day before that, despite the commitment of the United States and its allies to constructive diplomacy with the RF, they are "ready to respond" with tough coordinated sanctions if Moscow resorts to a new invasion of Ukraine. He added that the United States "drew up a plan to strengthen NATO's position" in Eastern Europe if Russia attacks, and also announced providing "further assistance" to Ukraine for protection.
Context. The United States and Russia will hold bilateral talks on January 10 in Geneva. Biden evaded a clear answer to the question of whether this meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin would be held on that date. He said, "We'll see."
Recall: Russia denies that it has plans for a new invasion of Ukraine. However, it states that it can resort to such actions if its security requirements are not met. Moscow demands guarantees that NATO will not expand further east and that offensive weapons will not be deployed on the territory of Ukraine and neighboring countries.