TODAY: Biden And Putin Hold Crucial Call On Ukraine

The New York Times reports:

President Biden will speak with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia on Tuesday morning in a high-stakes diplomatic effort to de-escalate a crisis over Ukraine as tens of thousands of Russian troops amass along the Ukrainian border, raising fears of an invasion.

In a video conference call scheduled for 10 a.m., the White House has said that Mr. Biden would “reaffirm the United States’ support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

The virtual meeting is a crucial test for Mr. Biden, as he tries to protect a democratic ally whose security U.S. officials have promised to defend and head off a major European security crisis. Mr. Putin has complained that Ukraine is posing a threat to Russia through its relationship with the United States and European powers.

The Washington Post reports:

The United States is expected to lay out “substantial economic countermeasures” in the form of sanctions, a senior administration official said Monday.

Russian spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Monday said he expected the conversation “to be quite long and substantive,” and Biden on Friday similarly said he anticipated “a long discussion” with Putin.

Speaking to reporters Monday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki reiterated that Biden’s objective on the call remains the same as it has been since he took office: not to escalate the relationship but “to move to a more stable footing in the relationship.”