The Associated Press reports:
President Joe Biden had his first call with Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, raising concerns about the arrest of opposition figure Alexei Navalny while pressing the Russian president on his nation’s involvement in a massive cyber espionage campaign and bounties on American troops in Afghanistan, two senior administration officials said.
Biden has looked to establish a sharp break from the warm rhetoric often displayed toward Putin by his predecessor, Donald Trump. But the new president also looked to preserve room for diplomacy, telling the Russian leader that the two nations should finalize a five-year extension of an arms control treaty before it expires early next month.
Read the full article.
Per Psaki, the agenda for the Biden-Putin call (which sounds like a real doozy)
*US support for Ukraine
*New START treaty
*The Solar Winds hack
*Russian bounties on US soldiers
*Interference in the 2020 election
*Treatment of peaceful protesters
— Annie Linskey (@AnnieLinskey) January 26, 2021
.@PressSec: “Biden called Putin this afternoon discussing New Start’s extension and to reaffirm calls for Ukraine’s sovereignty, Solar Winds hack, bounties on US troops, Navalny detention.”
Biden also told Putin: “The US will act firmly in defense of our nation interests.”
— Bianna Golodryga (@biannagolodryga) January 26, 2021