Biden and Putin to talk by phone Thursday

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President Joe Biden will speak on Thursday with Russian President Vladimir Putin amid ongoing tensions along the Russia-Ukraine border, the White House announced on Wednesday.

The two leaders will “discuss a range of topics” during their phone call, “including upcoming diplomatic engagements with Russia,” National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne said in a statement.

But the main point of conversation is certain to be Russian military build-up on Ukraine’s eastern frontier, which has prompted concern among the U.S. and its NATO countries for several months.

Biden and Putin’s call on Thursday will be their second this month, after the American president warned his Russian counterpart three weeks ago that the U.S. and European allies would impose “strong” economic penalties and other punitive actions on Russia should it mount an invasion of Ukraine.

Horne on Wednesday said the administration “continues to engage in extensive diplomacy with our European Allies and partners, consulting and coordinating on a common approach in response to” the Russian military build-up.

“President Biden has spoken with leaders across Europe, and Biden Administration officials have engaged multilaterally with NATO, the EU, and the OSCE,” Horne continued. “Officials have also held numerous consultations with their counterparts, including those from eastern flank countries bilaterally and in the B9 format as well as Ukraine.”

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