Tue, 18 Jan 2022

Washington [US], December 7 (ANI/Sputnik): US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin should use their upcoming talks on Tuesday to deescalate tensions and turn to diplomatic solutions as opposed to Washington continuing with its aggressive rhetoric, Eurasia Center Vice President Earl Rasmussen told Sputnik.

Biden and Putin in virtual talks later in the day are expected to discuss the crisis in Ukraine among other topics such as strategic stability. The secure video conference comes six months after their face-to-face meeting in Geneva. In addition, the call takes place as the two sides exchange threats over Russian military activities near Ukraine.

"I would hope that the two will look to deescalate the tensions and one from a diplomatic perspective versus the constant aggressive rhetoric that has been common with the US current foreign policy team," Rasmussen said.

Rasmussen said the Putin-Biden virtual summit is taking place amid challenges around the world, including in Ukraine, Belarus, Afghanistan, Syria as well as with respect to the Iran nuclear agreement and COVID-19 vaccines.

Speaking of Ukraine, Rasmussen noted that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's recent meetings with his counterparts from Kiev and the Baltic states intensified rather than calmed the situation in the region.

"I believe that there are differing perspectives inside the Biden administration, some of whom do not want a successful meeting. Let's hope that calmer minds succeed," Rasmussen added.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that Putin will listen to Biden's proposals on Ukraine with great interest.

Russia has repeatedly said that it stands by its right to move armed forces freely within its territory.

On November 23, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reiterated that Russia does not have any aggressive plans with regard to Ukraine. The Kremlin has also expressed concerns about Kiev having aggregated almost half of all its armed forces on the contact line with the Donbas region in the east of the country. (ANI/Sputnik)

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