Canada debriefed on Biden-Putin call as ‘tough’ road lies ahead
The U.S. said the debriefing involved talk of "shared priorities, including a strong, united response to further Russian aggression against Ukraine."
Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday debriefed Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly on a tough talk between Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin over the Russian troop buildup on the Ukraine border.
Blinken’s office said in a statement that he and Joly discussed “shared priorities, including a strong, united response to further Russian aggression against Ukraine.”
Joly said on Twitter that the two discussed Ukraine’s “sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Biden and Putin spoke on Dec. 30 and insist they are hopeful that a pathway to easing tensions could open during diplomatic talks set for January.
But with less than two weeks to go before senior U.S. and Russian officials are to meet in Geneva, the chasm is deep and the prospect of finding an exit to the crisis faces no shortage of complications.
Biden on Friday told reporters that he advised Putin when they spoke by phone a day earlier that the upcoming talks could only work if the Russian leader “deescalated, not escalated, the situation” in the days ahead. The U.S. president said he also sought to make plain to Putin that the U.S. and allies stood ready to hit Russia with punishing sanctions if the Russians further invade Ukraine.
“I made it clear to President Putin that if he makes any more moves into Ukraine we will have severe sanctions,” Biden said. “We will increase our presence in Europe with NATO allies.”
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