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Biden, Putin talk nearly an hour as alarm rises over Ukraine

Biden Putin
Posted at 3:58 PM, Dec 30, 2021

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin spoke by phone on Thursday about the Russian troop buildup near Ukraine.

According to the Associated Press, Russia requested Thursday's call.

It was a new round of leader-to-leader talks as the Kremlin has stepped up its calls for security guarantees and test-fired hypersonic missiles to underscore its demands.

Putin's foreign affairs adviser said Biden reaffirmed the U.S. threat of new sanctions against Russia in case of an escalation or invasion, to which Putin responded with a warning of his own — that such a U.S. move could lead to a complete rupture of ties.

The Russians have moved an estimated 100,000 troops toward Ukraine, and Putin has stepped up his demands for guarantees precluding NATO from expanding to Ukraine.

The news outlet reported that Biden and European leaders have warned Putin that there would be serious consequences if he should move ahead with an invasion.

Thursday's phone call comes about two weeks before U.S. and Russian officials are scheduled to discuss security on Jan. 10.