Biden proposes a face-to-face meeting with Putin on a neutral turf

According to the White House, President Joe Biden spoke on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, proposing that the two estranged leaders meet at a third-country summit to discuss a number of conflicts. did.

The Kremlin said Wednesday that he would consider Biden’s proposal and said it was too early to speak in concrete terms about the possibility of the summit.

Between the two presidents as Western forces are becoming more and more cautious about strengthening Russian troops near the Ukrainian border, fearing that the rapid movements by Moscow and Kiev could cause the outbreak of fresh things. The call was officially the second since Biden took office hostility.

In Donbas, eastern Ukraine, tensions have increased in recent weeks, with government troops fighting Russian-backed separatists in a seven-year fierce conflict with Kiev killing 14,000 people.

Biden called on Putin to take steps to reduce temperatures around the conflict in Donbas, emphasizing “US’s unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.” Said in a statement..

“The president expressed concern about the sudden buildup of Russian troops at the border between occupied Crimea and Ukraine and called on Russia to ease tensions,” the statement said.

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Ukrainian military personnel are working on tanks near the front lines with Russian-backed separatists near Lysychans’k in the Lugansk region on April 7, 2021.

Kiev warned about the buildup of Russian troops near the eastern border and the increase in violence along the line of contact between Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed separatists in Donbas. The Kremlin denies that the army is a threat, but says they will remain as long as they think it is appropriate.

According to a statement, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited a place last Thursday along the front line where the ceasefire was “recently systematically violated” with the aim of “maintaining fighting spirit.” From the President of Ukraine..

On the same day Zelensky came to the forefront, Kremlin official Dmitry Kozak rebelled against Zelensky as “playing with fire”, saying Russia would be forced to protect its citizens depending on the scale of the military conflict in eastern Ukraine. Russian sentiment on his tour.

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On April 8, 2021, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited a military position near the front line with Russian-backed separatists on a business trip in the Donbas region of Ukraine. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Service / Distribution via Reuters)

As another sign of growing tension, Moscow announced on April 6 that the military had begun a military “combat readiness” inspection.

Russia’s defense minister said Tuesday that military buildup was part of a preparatory training that lasted another two weeks and occurred in what he said was a threat from NATO.

Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu said the Russian army had deployed two troops and three paratroopers in the western region “in response to the military operations of the alliance threatening Russia.” Russia has regularly accused NATO of destabilizing Europe with military reinforcements in the Baltic countries and Poland since Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his French and German counterparts called on Russia to stop strengthening its troops on Friday, reaffirming its support for Kiev in the confrontation with Moscow.

Biden also reaffirmed his goal of building a “stable and predictable relationship” with Russia in a meeting with Putin, saying the summit could address “every problem” facing both countries.

Reuters contributed to this report.