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Biden-Putin to hold talks over video call on December 7: White House

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By Reena Bharadwaj

Washington | December 5, 2021 5:49:39 AM IST
US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will hold a video call on Tuesday, confirmed White House in a statement, as tensions between the United States and Russia escalate over a Russian troop buildup on the Ukrainian border that's seen as a sign of a potential invasion.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed plans for the conversation and said President Biden will underscore US concerns with Russian military activities on the border with Ukraine and "will reaffirm the United States support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine," the press Secretary announced in the statement.

Psaki said other topics would include "strategic stability, cyber and regional issues."

The last known call between the leaders was on July 9, when Biden pressed Putin to rein in Russia-based criminal hacking gangs launching ransomware attacks against the United States.The two leaders have had one face-to-face meeting since Biden took office in January, sitting down for talks in Geneva in June.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov first confirmed the Russian President's videoconference with his US counterpart. The exact timing of the call has not been disclosed.

Ahead of the call between Biden and Putin, the Russian President is scheduled to visit India on December 6. The meeting between Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also likely to see the presentation of the S-400 air defence system to India which has already started arriving in India in parts, as per sources.

In a major boost to India and Russia military ties, the two countries are scheduled to ink the deal on supplying 7.5 lakh AK-203 assault rifles on upcoming Monday during Putin's visit here.All necessary clearances have been done including the final approval from the Cabinet Committee on Security. It is scheduled to be inked during the Russian President's visit, government sources told ANI.

The deal had been agreed upon between the two sides a few years ago and now the last major issue would be resolving the issues on the transfer of technology, they said.

The procurement of Russian S-400 missile defence systems was a "sovereign decision" based on existing threat perceptions and to meet the entire spectrum of security challenges, Union Minister of State (MoS) for Defence Ajay Bhatt said on Friday.

The US on Friday urged all of its allies and partners to forgo transactions with Russia that risk triggering sanctions under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

"We urge all of our allies and partners to forgo transactions with Russia that risk triggering sanctions under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). We have not made a determination on a potential waiver with respect to Indian arms transactions with Russia. CAATSA does not have a blanket or country-specific waiver provision," said the US State Department spokesperson in response to a question by ANI. (ANI)

 
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