Biden speaks out from the White House, calls for de-escalation with Russia as two great powers have challenges to mutually cooperate on

On Thursday, the US President Joe Biden delivered a speech on Russia from the White House. The American leader said that he intends to take a responsible approach to relations with Moscow and expressed confidence that both sides can jointly deal with global problems.

Biden speaks out from the White House, calls for de-escalation with Russia as two great powers have challenges to mutually cooperate on

Responsible approach

Biden said the United States and Russia, as two great powers, have a significant responsibility for global stability, but also for building bilateral relations.

Two great powers with significant responsibility for global stability.  And President Putin and I have had a significant responsibility to steward that relationship.  I take that responsibility very seriously, as I’m sure he does. Russia and Americans are both proud and patriotic people.  And I believe the Russian people, like the American people, are invested in peaceful and a secure future of our world”, – the message on the official website of the White House reads.

In his opinion, Washington and Moscow have areas in which both sides “can and should work together”.

“There are also areas where Russia and the United States can and should work together.  For example, in the earliest days of my administration, we were able to move quickly to extend, for five years, the New START Treaty, and maintain that key element of nuclear stability between our nations.  That was in the interest of the United States, of Russia, and, quite frankly, of the world, and we got it done”. 

At the same time, the US President also spoke about Nord Stream-2. He called the construction of the Russian gas pipeline “a complicated issue” under discussion.

“Nord Stream-2 is a complicated issue affecting our allies in Europe.  I’ve been opposed to Nord Stream 2 for a long time, from the beginning, when I was even — when I was out of office and even before office, when we — before I left office as Vice President.  But that still is an issue that is in play”. 

Conversation with Putin

Biden also spoke about the telephone conversation with Vladimir Putin.
In particular, the American leader said that in a conversation with his Russian counterpart he informed him of the decision “not to go too far with sanctions”.

“I was clear with President Putin that we could have gone further, but I chose not to do so, to be — I chose to be proportionate. The United States is not looking to kick off a cycle of ecs- — of escalation and conflict with Russia.  We want a stable, predictable relationship”.

He also promised that he would be ready to respond to Moscow’s “interference in democracy”.

“If Russia continues to interfere with our democracy, I’m prepared to take further actions to respond.  It is my responsibility, as President of the United States, to do so.  But throughout our long history of competition, our two countries have been able to find ways to manage tensions and to keep them from escalating out of control”.

In addition, the US President expressed concern about the “military activity of Russia” near the Ukrainian borders and called on “to refrain from escalation”.

In addition, Biden recognized the importance of personal communication with his Russian counterpart.

“When I spoke to President Putin, I expressed my belief that communication between the two of us, personally and directly, was to be essential in moving forward to a more effective relationship.  And he agreed on that point. 

To that end, I proposed that we meet in person this summer in Europe, for a summit to address a range of issues facing both of our countries.  Our teams are discussing that possibility right now <…> And out of that summit — were it to occur, and I believe it will — the United States and Russia could launch a strategic stability dialogue to pursue cooperation in arms control and security.  We can address critical global challenges that require Russia and the United States to work together, including reining in nuclear threats from Iran and North Korea, ending this pandemic globally, and meeting the existential crisis of climate change”. 

Earlier, Biden, in a telephone conversation with Putin, suggested that he hold a personal meeting in a third country. US Secretary of State Tony Blinken explained that Biden suggested that Putin meet in the coming weeks. Also, the White House press service reported that Biden invited 40 world leaders, including Putin, to the climate summit, which Washington intends to organize on April 22-23 in a virtual format.

New sanctions

On Thursday, the US expanded anti-Russian sanctions and announced the expulsion of ten diplomats. Later, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said at a briefing that the invitation to Vladimir Putin to hold a meeting in a third country remains in force, despite the introduction of new restrictions.

As stated in the Russian Foreign Ministry, the US sanctions course does not meet the interests of the peoples of both countries. A series of response measures are currently being worked out, the department added.

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