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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Biden-Putin call didn’t resolve Ukraine crisis: Polish security official

08.12.2021 11:30
Tuesday's video call between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin "did not produce a new settlement regarding Ukraine," the head of Poland's National Security Bureau said on Wednesday. 
Audio
US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin hold a video call on Tuesday.
US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin hold a video call on Tuesday.PAP/EPA/Sergey Guneev/Sputnik/Kremlin Pool

In an interview with public broadcaster Polish Radio, Paweł Soloch said that Poland and other countries had an interest in protecting the sovereignty of Ukraine.

He added that, during the virtual summit on Tuesday, Biden “reiterated publicly that Russia will not be given any guarantees that Ukraine won’t become a member of NATO, as it is a matter for the allies and the country in question to decide.”

Soloch noted the US president warned Putin that Washington would impose strong economic measures if Russia invaded Ukraine, according to a statement by the White House.

Soloch, who is a senior national security adviser to Polish President Andrzej Duda, also told Polish Radio that America was prepared to boost its presence on NATO’s eastern flank.

Paweł Soloch Paweł Soloch. Photo: Polish Radio

'Strong economic and other measures'

During their two-hour video conference on Tuesday, Biden and Putin discussed Ukraine and other tensions, amid Western fears that Moscow planned to attack its southern neighbour, news agencies reported.

The White House said afterwards that Biden “voiced the deep concerns of the United States and our European Allies about Russia’s escalation of forces surrounding Ukraine.”

Biden also “made clear that the U.S. and our Allies would respond with strong economic and other measures in the event of military escalation,” his administration said. 

The US president “reiterated his support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and called for de-escalation and a return to diplomacy,” according to the White House.

“The two presidents tasked their teams to follow up, and the U.S. will do so in close coordination with allies and partners,” the White House said in its statement.

Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters the US president vowed that, in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, Washington would send more weapons to Kyiv and strengthen NATO’s eastern flank, Poland's PAP news agency reported.

After his virtual summit with Putin, Biden discussed the talks with the leaders of Germany, France, Britain and Italy. 

A day earlier, he also spoke with Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi. 

The White House announced on Tuesday that Biden would soon meet with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky. 

The virtual meeting between Biden and Putin followed Western concerns that Russia was planning an invasion of Ukraine amid an unprecedented build-up of troops along that country's border, coupled with a campaign of cyber-attacks and disinformation, the PAP news agency reported.

According to a US intelligence estimate shared with the media, Moscow intends to amass some 175,000 military personnel along Ukraine’s borders, PAP reported.  

US officials said before the video conference that Biden would tell Putin that Russia and its banks could be hit with the strongest economic sanctions yet if it attacked Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin, which said before the video call it did not expect any breakthroughs, has denied planning to invade Ukraine, calling its troop posture “purely defensive," news agencies reported.

(pm/gs)

Sources: IAR, PAP, Reuters, whitehouse.gov