According to the White House, the two leaders spoke for just over 30 minutes about “United States assistance to Ukraine and the sanctions imposed” by Washington and European countries on Russia, hostile measures that only intensify tensions, in the opinion of Moscow authorities.
Biden has little on his public agenda on Tuesday other than his State of the Union address tonight, at which time he is expected to reflect on rising tensions with Russia over Ukraine, The Hill newspaper reported.
The ruling Democrat over the weekend approved $350 million in military aid for Ukraine and asked Congress to authorize an additional $6.4 billion for humanitarian and security issues related to that country.
Russia began a military operation in Ukraine on February 24, after the authorities of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics requested help to repel Kiev’s aggression.
Moscow made clear its position that it cannot allow Kiev to acquire nuclear weapons and continue to militarize, which constitutes a danger to Russian security.
President Vladimir Putin has warned that the continued eastward expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is unacceptable to Russia.
In this context of increasing escalation, some political observers wonder what role the United States has played in the Ukraine crisis, because it would be irresponsible, they say, to talk about peace and diplomatic channels on the one hand while adding fuel to the fire on the other.