Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday warned President Joe Biden of a “complete rupture of relations” between the two countries if the United States imposes new sanctions, The Washington Post reports.
Putin and Biden held their second call this month as Russia continues to amass thousands of troops near Ukraine’s borders, raising concerns of a possible invasion. Biden earlier this month vowed to impose crippling sanctions if Russia invades.
Putin on Thursday said such actions would be a mistake “which our descendants will later appreciate as a huge one,” an aide to the Russian president told reporters. “Many such mistakes have already been made over the past 30 years. Therefore, it is advisable not to make such mistakes in this situation.”
The call, which came at Putin’s request, lasted nearly an hour.
Putin presses demands:
Putin has pushed for an agreement that would bar Ukraine from ever joining NATO and rule out any other NATO expansion in eastern Europe.
Putin has accused the west of encroaching on Russian borders and using Ukraine as a base for anti-Russian actions.
The White House has rejected ruling out any country’s NATO membership, as has the organization itself.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with his Canadian counterpart on Friday to discuss “shared efforts to counter Russian aggression against Ukraine.”
“We will work together to impose massive consequences and severe costs for further aggression,” he said on Twitter.
3 meetings set:
A Biden administration official told the Post that the two sides are set to meet in person three times in early January.
The US and Russia will hold bilateral talks in Geneva on January 9, at the NATO-Russia Council on January 12, and at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on January 13.
“Both leaders acknowledged that there were likely to be areas where we could make meaningful progress, as well as areas where agreements may be impossible, and that the upcoming talks would determine more precisely the contours of each of those categories,” the senior Biden administration official said.