US President Biden to hold talks by phone with Ukraine’s President Zelensky soon, White House says
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will likely speak by phone with U.S. President Joe Biden in near future, a White House source told Reuters on Dec. 30.
The Biden administration remains in close communication with Ukraine and NATO allies, said Emily Horne, the U.S. National Security Council spokesperson.
“Biden will likely speak with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy soon,” Reuters quotes another White House official as saying.
The date of their phone call is expected to be announced soon, the NSC told Voice of America on Dec. 29.
During their last conversation on Dec. 9, Zelensky and Biden discussed the military escalation on the Russia-Ukraine border, recent Washington-Moscow talks, and the Nordstream-2 gas pipeline.
President Biden is scheduled to have another phone call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Dec. 30.
He is expected to discuss the concentration of Russian troops around Ukraine with Putin, and the ways in which the U.S. could respond to the threatening Russian troop buildup.
The current Russia-Ukraine crisis has been building since late October, with some western media warning that Russia might invade Ukraine with a force of 175,000 troops in early 2022.
U.S. and EU officials are concerned by the steady escalation of tensions on Ukraine’s eastern border. The White House is working on a potential response, hoping to deter Moscow from launching a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
The U.S. president described the response as “a most comprehensive initiative, which is going to make it very difficult for Putin to do what many fear he just might.”
Top diplomats of G7 countries have warned Russia of “serious consequences and a heavy price” if it launches military aggression against Ukraine. In a resolution passed on Dec. 16, the European Parliament called for severe sanctions to be imposed on Russia if it invades more of Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov has said that the Russian troop buildup around Ukraine did not cease after earlier talks between Putin and Biden.
After those talks, the Russian president declined to rule out invading Ukraine and said he expects the United States to offer Russia “security guarantees.”
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