In a high-profile virtual meeting Tuesday morning, President Biden warned Russian President Vladimir V. Putin of economic consequences if he continued to escalate a military presence around Ukraine, according to a White House statement.
The diplomatic effort came as tens of thousands of Russian troops gathered along the Ukrainian border, increasing fears of an invasion.
Jake Sullivan, the president’s national security adviser, described the president’s comments to reporters.
“He told President Putin directly that if Russia invades Ukraine further, the United States and our European allies will respond with strong economic measures,” he said. Sullivan.
He later added: “There was a lot to give and take, there was no wagging finger, but the president was crystal clear about where the United States stands.”
Mr. Sullivan said the administration was also prepared to send supplies and additional resources to Ukraine and other allies of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization if “there is a further invasion of Ukraine” by Russia.
“The question here is not whether the United States will send US officials to the territory of our NATO allies,” he said. Sullivan and noted that the United States regularly conducted rotating military exercises in the Baltic region. “The question is what additional capabilities can we provide to ensure that they feel strongly about their own sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Asked for details of the consequences Russia is facing, Mr. Sullivan to go into detail. “I want to look you in the eye and tell you that President Biden looked President Putin in the eye and told him today that things we did not do in 2014, we are ready to do now,” he said. Sullivan with reference to the year. Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula. Virtually no country has acknowledged the act, and Western powers continue to condemn Russia for it.
Mr. Sullivan said the administration still does not believe that Mr. Putin had reached a decision on whether to invade Ukraine now. But the United States has uncovered intelligence showing that Russia’s military has developed a war plan that predicts that as many as 175,000 troops will cross Ukraine’s border – an invading force that Ukraine’s military, despite US-supplied equipment and training, would have poor ability to stop.
The American and Russian leaders began their conversation via video link at. 10:07, according to the White House, and it ended at. 12:08. According to the White House, they also discussed ransomware and issues related to Iran. Prior to the call, Biden officials said the discussion would cover nuclear weapons control, cyber security and Iran’s nuclear program. Mr. Sullivan said Mr. Biden and Mr. Putin agreed to continue the dialogue on the issues discussed on Tuesday.
Mr. Biden would speak with Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine, on Thursday, said Mr. Sullivan.
In a short video of the opening moments of the call broadcast by Russian state television, Mr Putin said: “Greetings, Mr President!”
“Good to see you again,” replied Mr. Bite hot after what appeared to be a short connection failure. “Unfortunately, we did not get to see each other last time at the G20. I hope that the next time we meet, we will do it in person. “
The video showed Mr. Putin sitting at a long wooden table with Mr. Bitten on a large video screen in front of him and he waved to Mr. Bitten when the call began. Mr. Putin accepted the call from his residence in Sochi, the Russian resort town on the Black Sea.
After the call was completed, Mr Biden was expected to hold a separate call with several US allies, including President Emmanuel Macron of France, Chancellor Angela of Germany, Prime Minister Mario Draghi of Italy and Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain. The leaders had previously agreed to keep in touch about Russia’s deportation to Ukraine, according to the White House.