Biden and Putin showdown – Crunch talks to avoid war as troops linger on Ukraine border

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A spokesperson for the White House’s National Security Council, who declined to be named, explained that the talks would be open and frank.

They said: “When we sit down to talk, Russia can put its concerns on the table, and we will put our concerns on the table with Russia’s activities as well.

“There will be areas where we can make progress, and areas where we will disagree.

“That’s what diplomacy is about.”

However, the spokesperson made it clear that Russia will face severe consequences should they decide to invade Ukraine.

They said: “President Biden’s approach on Ukraine has been clear and consistent: unite the alliance behind two tracks – deterrence and diplomacy.

“We are unified as an alliance on the consequences Russia would face if it moves on Ukraine.”

A spokesperson for the Biden administration confirmed on Monday that Russia and NATO would hold talks on 12 January, with a broader regional meeting including Moscow, Washington and several European countries set for 13 January. 

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Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov confirmed that Moscow wanted to ‘concentrate exclusively’ on two draft documents it had submitted.

These include a draft treaty with NATO calling for Ukraine to be resumed admission and for the alliance to remove its troops and infrastructure from countries that joined after 1997.

Most countries that have joined NATO since 1997 were either at one time part of the USSR or members of the Warsaw Pact during the Cold War.

However, on Monday US President Joe Biden signed into law a spending bill that will provide $300m for Ukraine’s armed forces, and billions more for European defence broadly.



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