Biden and Putin to Talk by Phone on Ukraine Crisis

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and his U.S. colleague Joe Biden plan to hold a telephone conversation this Saturday, February 12, when Washington maintains the narrative of an alleged Russian invasion of Ukraine, which would take place in the coming days. At a time of accusations from Washington about an alleged Russian invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow has rejected on several occasions, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed the call between the two leaders.

“In fact, the U.S. side requested a conversation with President Putin, and the talks of the two presidents are scheduled for tomorrow night,” he said. This call comes as Washington ordered the evacuation of its non-essential personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, while senior officials in the White House claim an imminent invasion of Ukraine.

Russia, for its part, denies that it intends to carry out an escalation on Ukrainian territory, and accuses the US of carrying out an unprecedented disinformation campaign against Moscow. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote Friday on her social media that “the white house hysteria is more revealing than ever.” Countries such as Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, Canada, Norway, Australia, and New Zealand, among others, called on their citizens, residing in Ukraine, to leave the European country as soon as possible.

The Ukrainian government urged the population to “remain calm” after the escalation of tension in recent hours around the conflict unleashed by the accumulation of Russian troops on the border. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine said on Saturday that “it is of vital importance to remain calm, consolidate within the country and avoid actions that undermine stability and sow panic.”

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The last time Putin and Biden had a phone conversation was late last year. Before that, on December 7, they held a video conference. The first face-to-face meeting of Putin and Biden as heads of state took place in Geneva in June 2021. Russia demands that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) curb its expansion into Eastern Europe and that the West respect Russia’s security plan in the region, while the United States insists on denouncing Moscow’s alleged plans to invade Ukraine.

In addition to the more than 100,000 troops, Moscow says Moscow has amassed along the eastern and southern borders with Ukraine, the Russians have deployed missiles, aviation, ships, and special operations forces, as well as supplies, to sustain a war. This week, the Kremlin carried six amphibious assault ships into the Black Sea, increasing its ability to land marines on the coast.

Moscow is demanding that the West leave Ukraine and other former Soviet republics out of NATO and wants the alliance not to deploy its weapons near its borders and withdraw its forces from Eastern Europe, demands that the West rejects. Russia and Ukraine have been embroiled in bitter conflict since 2014 when their pro-Kremlin president was ousted following popular protests. Moscow responded by annexing the Crimean peninsula and backing the separatist insurgency in the east, where fighting has left more than 14,000 people dead.

The 2015 ceasefire, brokered by France and Germany, helped curb large-scale fighting, but skirmishes have continued and efforts to reach a political settlement are stalled.

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