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Biden tries to de-escalate tensions over Ukraine

News Channel 34
News Channel 34
 2021-12-31

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Joe Biden will hold a call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin this afternoon in a bid to de-escalate tensions over Ukraine.

More than 100,000 Russian troops are stationed along the border and U.S. intelligence officials have warned that Russia could be planning to launch an attack as soon as next month.

But Putin denies this.

NewsChannel 34’s Jessi Turnure joins us with a preview of the leaders’ call.

“Good to see you again.”

President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will speak for the second time this month today as the U.S. continues to pressure Russia to draw down its military presence near Ukraine’s borders.

“I am absolutely confident he got the message.”

Following their call at the beginning of December, the president stressed he was clear what would happen if Putin invaded Ukraine.

“There will be severe consequences, severe consequences, economic consequences like none he’s ever seen.”

A senior administration official says President Biden will take the same approach later today offering diplomatic solutions but threatening sanctions.

Putin has warned Russia would be forced to act if NATO expands its military capabilities into Ukraine.

“Our teams have been in constant contact.”

U.S. and Russian officials plan to sit down for security talks in Geneva January 10th.

On Wednesday, President Biden didn’t rule out meeting face-to-face with Putin.

“We’ll see.”

But the two leaders are not expected to participate in the talks.

Meetings will continue that week of January between Russia and NATO officials over security issues.

In Washington I’m Jessi Turnure.

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