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Biden and Putin to hold telephone interviews as tensions mount in Ukraine

US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will call on Thursday to discuss security in Europe, the Kremlin and the White House have confirmed.

The call comes amid growing efforts to resolve the conflict in Ukraine, following reports that Russia has sent 100,000 troops to its borders with the country and a dispute over Russia’s role in raising gas prices in Europe.

A senior US official said the song was prepared by Russia’s request and that it would “take” a major step “to create a” reduction “approach.

Biden presented a list of US concerns about how Russian troops are growing on the Ukrainian border, and made it clear that the US and its allies were ready to “respond” if Russia attacked, the official said.

Putin said Wednesday that gas prices will stabilize as the German chancellor allows things to move to western Europe via the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which runs down the Baltic via Ukraine. Kyiv is currently receiving funding for the operation of Russian gas passing through its territory. The approval of Germany Nord Stream 2 is not expected until mid-2022.

Opponents of the pipeline are said to be increasing Europe’s dependence on Russian power, and the US has set it as a way to punish sanctions if Russia attacks Ukraine.

Russia considers Ukraine, a predominantly Russian-speaking country and part of the former Soviet Union, to be located in its territory. Asked last week about the possible Russian invasion of his neighbor, Putin said the conflict had arisen because NATO had crossed the border and expanded the eastern border with Russia, and called for it. for immediate assurance that such growth will cease.

Although the Russian leader has previously denied any wrongdoing, last week he refused to ban the war effort.

Putin has already said that Russian and US officials are expected to meet in January negotiations in Ukraine. The U.S. chief said Washington wanted to see “steady progress” on the ground so that negotiations could take place. Wednesday, Josep Borrell, EU chief of foreign affairs, said the bloc should be included in the negotiations.

The second pipeline of Nord Stream 2 was filled with gas and ready to operate, Putin said Wednesday. “Now, of course, it all depends on our friends in Europe and Germany,” he said. “As soon as they decide to start the project, Europe will immediately get a lot of Russian oil. This will definitely affect the price… [market]. And all consumers who buy Russian gas feel the same way right away. ”

Gazprom, a Russian state-funded gas supplier, has been repeatedly accused of promoting rising oil prices in Europe by blocking its efforts and failing to fill its gas reserves in Europe. Putin last week defended the company, saying it delivered more oil to Europe this year than 2020 and that it had not received further requests for current prices.

Gazprom has a 40bn cubic meter gas pipeline agreement through Ukraine by 2024, and has exceeded this volume this year.

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