U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin held two hours of virtual talks on Ukraine and other disputes on Tuesday amid Western fears that Moscow is poised to invade its southern neighbour, APA reports quoting Reuters.
Russian TV footage showed Biden and Putin greeting each other in a friendly manner at the start of what was expected to be a tense exchange. Biden told Putin he hoped their next meeting would be in person.
The White House issued a statement saying the talks had started, but did not display any visuals from the secure 'Situation Room' where Biden was located.
The two leaders talked for two hours and one minute, according to the White House.
The Kremlin has said it hopes the two leaders can hold an in-person summit to discuss what it has described as the lamentable state of U.S.-Russia relations, which have sunk to their lowest since the end of the Cold War.
U.S. officials said before the video conference that Biden would tell Putin that Russia and its banks could be hit with the toughest economic sanctions yet if it attacks Ukraine.
President Joe Biden’s high-stakes call with Russian President Vladimir Putin ended a little after noon in Washington, according to Russia state news reports, with the leaders seeking to ease tensions that have spiked over Moscow’s massing of troops along the border with Ukraine, APA reports detroitnews.
Both sides said the video call ended after just over two hours. Russian television had showed the start of the meeting, with the American president saying “good to see you again” and lamenting that the two leaders weren’t able to meet up at the Group of 20 meeting this year, which Putin skipped over Covid-19 concerns.
Biden now plans to call the leaders of France, Italy, the U.K. and Germany to brief them on the conversations, the White House said. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan will also brief reporters at 2 p.m., according to a statement.
A meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden has begun, APA's Moscow correspondent reports quoting Rossiya24.
Putin-Biden talks are being held in a video conference format.