Ukraine crisis: Biden, Putin to speak on Saturday

The phone call will happen after US said Russia has massed enough troops near Ukraine to launch a major invasion



US soldiers line up during the visit of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis at the Mihail Kogalniceanu airbase, near the Black Sea port city of Constanta, eastern Romania. — AP
US soldiers line up during the visit of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis at the Mihail Kogalniceanu airbase, near the Black Sea port city of Constanta, eastern Romania. — AP

By Agencies

Published: Sat 12 Feb 2022, 3:25 AM

US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin will speak on Saturday, a White House official said, after Washington said earlier on Friday that Russia has massed enough troops near Ukraine to launch a major invasion.

“They will be speaking Saturday morning. Russia proposed a call on Monday. We counter-proposed Saturday, and they accepted,” the official said.

Earlier on Friday, top US General Mark Milley spoke by telephone with his Russian counterpart General Valery Gerasimov, the Pentagon said.

Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gerasimov, chief of the Russian General Staff, “discussed several security-related issues of concern,” said Colonel Dave Butler, the Joint Staff spokesman.

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“In accordance with past practice, both have agreed to keep the specific details of their conversation private,” Butler said.

The telephone call is not the first between the two generals but their conversations are rare.

They last spoke on November 23, and discussed Russian troop movements around Ukraine.

The pair met in Finland in September and discussed ways to prevent military incidents between the two countries, according to Moscow.

Butler said Milley also held telephone calls on Friday with counterparts in France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania and Britain.

“The military leaders discussed items of mutual security concern, including ongoing coordination during the adjustment of US force posture in Europe,” he said.


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