Putin-Biden Summit: Agreement to Come in Contact is Reached

Putin-Biden Summit: Agreement to Come in Contact is Reached

Photo: http://tass.ru

The presidents of Russia and the United States held talks on December 7. Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden communicated via the secure channel of videoconferencing. The media were shown only the opening shots of the meeting.

The footage showed Putin and Biden exchanging greetings. The first meeting between Russian and U.S. leaders was held on June 16 of this year. Then the presidents met in person in Geneva. In December, they were almost 9,000 kilometers away from each other.

Putin was alone in the office during the talks that lasted two hours, while our interpreters were in another room. A photo posted by the White House on Twitter shows that there were four other people in the office with Biden during the meeting, including U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.

Earlier, Press Secretary for the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov said that one should not expect any “breakthroughs” from the talks between the leaders of Russia and the United States. According to him, it was a working conversation in “a very difficult period.”

As expected, during the talks, Biden expressed to Putin the concern of Washington and its European allies about the alleged increase in Russian military forces “near Ukraine's borders.” In this regard, the U.S. leader urged Putin to de-escalate and “get back to diplomacy.”

Biden emphasized the allegedly “threatening” nature of Russian troop movements near Ukraine's borders. Putin responded that it was NATO that was making dangerous attempts to “develop Ukrainian territory” and build up military capabilities near Russian borders.

Although Biden told Putin that in case of a military escalation in Ukraine, the U.S. and its allies would take “tough economic” and other measures, such as “strengthening” NATO's eastern flank, he also made a reservation, saying that Washington did not believe that Russia had decided to attack Ukraine. The Russian leader reminded the U.S. leader of Kyiv's destructive line aimed at dismantling the Minsk agreements. The presidents instructed their teams to continue negotiations on the situation in Ukraine.

In addition, Putin told Biden that Russia is interested in obtaining legally recorded guarantees precluding NATO's eastward expansion and the deployment of offensive strike systems in Russia's neighboring countries. Putin also suggested that Biden “reset to zero” any accumulated restrictions on the functioning of diplomatic missions which could serve to normalize other aspects of relations.

“Putin had a trip to India and established very close cooperation with Delhi before the talks with Biden, and this caused concern for China,” Alexei Mukhin, CEO of the Political Information Center, told wek.ru. “I believe that Biden tried to lean on this too during the talks since the U.S. is trying to create tensions between Russia and China by all means. The Americans have already started interpreting the outcome of Biden's talks with Putin as saying that “we agreed” which means that China is likely to have serious concerns about the subject of this “agreement.” Traditionally, to dispel some doubts that China might have, Vladimir Putin usually makes a call to Xi Jinping after meetings of this kind.

The Russian and U.S. leaders recalled the alliance between the two countries during World War II and emphasized that the sacrifices made then should not be forgotten and that the alliance itself should serve as an example of successful cooperation in today's realities.

Yuri Ushakov, an advisor to the President of Russia on foreign policy issues, said the Russian and U.S. leaders talked for exactly two hours and made jokes and compliments during this business conversation.

“Despite our concerns, an agreement was reached after Vladimir Putin said that there are certain ‘red lines,’ Ushakov said to the media on the outcome of the talks. “They rule out any NATO advancement eastward and the deployment of systems threatening us, especially offensive weaponry, both in Ukraine and other neighboring states. The leaders agreed to instruct their teams, their representatives to make contact promptly on these sensitive issues.”

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