Biden, Putin set for video call Tuesday

Putin, Biden in Geneva on Wednesday

Putin, Biden in Geneva in June

U.S. President Joe Biden will hold a video call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, both the Kremlin and a U.S. source familiar with the matter said Saturday.

The two plan to discuss U.S. concerns about Russia’s military buildup on the Ukraine border and other topics, the U.S. source said. The two will also discuss bilateral ties and the implementation of agreements reached at their Geneva summit in June, the Kremlin told Reuters on Saturday.

Biden will also discuss strategic stability, cyber and regional issues. The exact timing of the call was not disclosed.

More than 94,000 Russian troops are massed near Ukraine’s borders.

Ukraine Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said on Friday that Moscow may be planning a large-scale military offensive for the end of January, citing intelligence reports.

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Biden will underscore U.S. concerns over Russian military activities on the border with Ukraine and reaffirm the United States’ support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, the U.S. source said Saturday.

U.S.-Russia relations have been deteriorating for years, notably with Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, its 2015 intervention in Syria and U.S. intelligence charges of meddling in the 2016 election won by now-former President Donald Trump.

But they have become more volatile in recent months.

The two leaders have had one face-to-face meeting since Biden took office in January, sitting down for talks in Geneva last June.

They last talked by phone on July 9. Biden relishes direct talks with world leaders, seeing them as a way to lower tensions.

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