November 19, 2022

Biden confronts Putin over Ukraine in high-stakes meeting

President Joe Biden told Russian President Vladimir Putin during a video meeting on Tuesday that the United States would respond with strong economic and other measures in the event of military escalation, the White House said, as Russia builds up its forces on its border with Ukraine.

“He told President Putin directly that if Russia further invades Ukraine, the United States and our European allies would respond with strong economic measures, Biden’s top national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, said Tuesday of the call, which the White House said lasted two hours and one minute.

The meeting was useful, and the discussion was direct and straightforward, Sullivan told reporters.

There was a lot of give and take, Sullivan said. There was no finger wagging.

Russian President Vladimir Putin holds talks with President Joe Biden via a video link in Sochi, Russia, Dec. 7, 2021.

The call started at 10:07 a.m., according to the White House, and Russian TV showed Putin sitting at a long, wooden table looking at Biden on a TV monitor and the two men waving at each other.

“Hello. Good to see you again, Biden replied. “Unfortunately, last time we did not get to see each other at the G-20. I hope next time we meet we do it in person.

Putin spoke from his residence in the Russian resort city Sochi. Biden was in the White House Situation Room the White House released a photograph showing him seated with Sullivan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Eric Green, a senior advisor on Russia.

During the meeting, the first conversation between the leaders since July, Biden told Putin that we would provide additional defensive material to the Ukrainians, above and beyond that which we are already providing and that the United States would fortify our NATO allies on the eastern flank, with additional capabilities in response to such an escalation.

The United States already rotates relatively small contingents of American troops through Baltic countries as a symbolic measure.