President Joe Biden on Thursday warned his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin of a tough US response to any invasion of Ukraine, while the Kremlin leader said anti-Moscow sanctions would be a “colossal mistake.”
After a 50-minute phone call — their second in just over three weeks — both presidents indicated support for further diplomacy on the tense standoff between Russia and Western-backed Ukraine.
Putin was “pleased” overall with the talks, foreign policy adviser Yury Ushakov told reporters. A senior US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the tone “was serious and substantive.”
But there was no disguising the depth of disagreement — or the dangerously high stakes on the fringes of eastern Europe — ahead of in-person negotiations between high-ranking Russian and US officials on January 10.