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- As expected, neither side bowed in the first round of talks via video call with Biden threatening sanctions for an invasion of Ukraine, and Russia rejecting calls to withdraw its troops and calling for NATO to cease its eastward expansion.
- Both sides claimed their objectives were met, but Putin seemingly came out on top with the agreement for a face to face call. European political analyst says “The U.S. and Europe want to de-escalate tensions, but the Kremlin seeks escalation to gain Western concessions.”
- Presidential Aide Ushkov says in the meeting readout that Biden promised to speak to his allies about NATO’s eastward expansion in yesterday’s talks after Putin pressed firmly on the matter during the video call.
- Ushakov also asked where the Russian troops should be pulled back to, given that they were already on their own territory and not threatening anyone – as reiterated by Putin in the meeting.
- Says he hopes for discussion of security guarantees and non-deployment of offensive weapons and NATO’s non-expansion east in the next round of talks
- Macron says he will speak with Putin & Zelensky in the coming days, having already discussed the issue with the UK, US, Italy & Germany.
- Comes after Biden spoke with his allies post-meeting, underscoring support for Ukraine and close contacts with NATO allies on the subject