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Biden will speak with Putin on Thursday at the request of the Russian leader

(CNN) – US President Joe Biden will be held a Telephone conversation with President of Russia Vladimir Putin Thursday afternoon “to discuss a variety of issues, including upcoming diplomatic relations with Russia,” A spokeswoman told CNN From the National Security Council, Emily Horne.

Putin requested the call, according to an administration official, and Biden agreed because he “believes that when it comes to Russia there is no alternative to direct dialogue between the two leaders.”

Horn added, “The Biden administration continues to engage in intense diplomacy with our European allies and partners, as it consults and coordinates a joint approach in response to the Russian military build-up on the border with Ukraine. President Biden has spoken with leaders across Europe, and officials from the Biden administration have cooperated multilaterally With (NATO), (European Union) and (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe), they have also conducted many bilateral consultations with their counterparts in the eastern wing and in the (Bucharest Nine) formula as well as in Ukraine.

The Bucharest IX site refers to the nine European countries that make up the eastern edge of NATO: Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, and Slovakia.

The official said Biden plans to anticipate the upcoming bilateral talks between the United States and Russia scheduled for January 10, and will also discuss the NATO-Russia and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe meetings scheduled for January 12. . The official said that ending consultations with US allies and partners has been “a priority for the administration from the start,” and Biden will confirm this to Putin.

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In that spirit, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday about ongoing tensions and anticipation of Biden’s upcoming call with Putin, according to the State Department.

The Biden-Putin call, scheduled for 3:30 p.m. (Miami time), will be Second direct contact Between the two leaders this month, the United States continues to pressure Russia to reduce its large military presence near Ukraine’s borders. more than 100,000 Russian soldiers They are still stationed there, and US intelligence officials have warned Ukraine and its allies that Russia may be planning an attack in January.

Putin and Biden’s warnings

Biden warned Putin during a virtual meeting earlier this month that The invasion will have dire consequencesSuch as tough economic sanctions and US military buildup on NATO’s eastern flank.

Putin, in turn, warned the United States and NATO that Russia would have to act. If their “red lines” are crossedSpecifically, if NATO expands its military capabilities in the east and in Ukraine. Putin has demanded legally binding security guarantees from the United States and NATO, and has already described some American officials as being inactive, but without detailing what is off the table.

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A spokesman for the National Security Council said on Tuesday that US and Russian officials had agreed to sit down for security talks on January 10, where “Russia can put its concerns on the table, and we will put our concerns on the table about Russia’s activities.” On Wednesday, the administration official said the State Department would lead that delegation.

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A White House official said Tuesday that the state of the talks does not depend on Russia reducing its forces first, because the Biden administration still believes diplomacy is the most responsible course “even if we don’t get everything we want.”

A White House official told CNN that US officials plan to consult regularly with Ukraine as negotiations with Russia will take place next month.

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