President Joe Biden is scheduled to speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin again for their final meeting of 2021. Senior White House officials stated recently that another call was organized due to the Kremlin’s request.
This was openly welcomed by Biden, who believes that “there is no substitute for direct leader-to-leader dialogue and engagement.”
“The two presidents will discuss the upcoming dialogues with Russia on a range of security and strategic issues. Those include bilateral talks through the Strategic Stability Dialogue, as well as the NATO-Russia Council, and the OSCE Permanent Council meeting, all of which will take place the week of January 10th,” officials said.
“Russia has put its concerns on the table and we are prepared to discuss them. The United States and our allies and partners will put our concerns on the table and expect Russia to be prepared to discuss them as well,” the officials continued.
“The President will emphasize this to President Putin — we are united with our allies in our willingness to engage in principled diplomacy with Russia. We are prepared to discuss the security and strategic matters that have now been the subject of both private and public debate and discussion over the course of the past days and weeks. President Biden will make clear that there is a diplomatic path to deescalating tensions in the region if President Putin is interested in taking it,” they added.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken is also set for a convo with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to discuss Russia’s military presence on the Ukrainian border. The conversation will be held ahead of Biden’s call with Putin.
Senior administration officials were pressed during a Q&A session and could not answer why the Russians wanted to call Biden. However, they said that the US president will use the opportunity to discuss a list of concerns with the Russian leader. Officials stated that the White House would not publish a document or draft agreement detailing the demands and concerns of the president in the same way as the Russians.
Reiterated full U.S. support for Ukraine in my call with Ukrainian President @ZelenskyyUa. We will continue to consult closely with Ukraine, @NATO Allies, and partners in our diplomatic efforts to deter further Russian aggression.— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) December 29, 2021