Biden Meets His Aides to Discuss Situation around Ukraine, Talks with Russia

Biden Meets His Aides to Discuss Situation around Ukraine, Talks with Russia

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – US President Joe Biden held a meeting with his administration officials responsible for national security at his residence in Camp David, Maryland, the White House’s press service said on Saturday.

They discussed the situation around Ukraine and diplomatic engagement with Russia.

"Today President Biden met with his national security team in person and virtually at Camp David to discuss continued Russian aggressive actions toward Ukraine," according to the statement, TASS reported.

In particular, President Biden "was briefed on the current state of Russian military operations," which are allegedly taking place on Ukraine’s borders. He also discussed the "ongoing efforts to de-escalate the situation with diplomacy" as well as the "range of deterrence measures that are being coordinated closely with our Allies and partners, including ongoing deliveries of security assistance to Ukraine."

"President Biden again affirmed that should Russia further invade Ukraine, the United States will impose swift and severe consequences on Russia with our Allies and partners," the White House’s press service said.

According to the statement, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Counselor Steve Ricchetti joined the President in person at Camp David. Other national security officials joined by secure video.

On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held talks with his American counterpart Antony Blinken in Geneva. Following the meeting, Lavrov told reporters that the talks were interim and that the next meeting of Russia and the United States at the same level will take place after Washington provides written responses to Russian proposals on security guarantees.

On December 17, 2021, the Russian Foreign Ministry published the draft agreements between Moscow and Washington on security guarantees and measures for ensuring the security of Russia and NATO member states.

Russian-US and Russian-NATO talks on security guarantees were held last week. On January 10, Geneva hosted Russia-US consultations on these matters. On January 12, a Russia-NATO Council meeting was held in Brussels, and a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council was held in Vienna on the following day.

Two agreements - with the United States and members of the alliance - in particular imply the refusal to expand NATO to the east, including the refusal to admit Ukraine into the alliance, as well as the introduction of restrictions on the deployment of serious offensive weapons, in particular nuclear ones.

Recently, the West and Ukraine frequently echoed an allegedly looming Russian invasion of Ukraine. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov castigated these statements as an empty and groundless escalation of tension, emphasizing that Russia posed no threat to anyone. At the same time, the Kremlin press secretary did not exclude some possible provocations to justify such claims and warned that the attempts to resolve the Ukrainian conflict by force would carry extremely serious consequences. According to him, Moscow is making every effort to help Kiev resolve the conflict in Donbass, while remaining committed to the Normandy format and the Minsk agreements.

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