The official said that this was “adjustments and reinforcement of NATO forces in allied countries” as well as “additional aid to Ukraine so that it can continue to defend itself and its territory”.
In a statement, White House press secretary Jen Pskai also said Biden had told Putin that the US and its allies “will react decisively if Russia continues to invade Ukraine.”
The Russian side, which in the last few days had threatened to admit Ukraine into NATO, would lead to a major war in Europe, seemed to be positive after the call.
Putin’s foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov reportedly said Biden said the Russian guide that the United States would not plant missiles in Ukraine.
“It is interesting that shortly after the call, Ushakov sounded optimistic and said that Biden had … assured that the US has no intention of deploying missiles in Ukraine,” said John Hardie, a Russia expert with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Hawk think tank. “From the Russian side, they seem a bit more optimistic than overall.”
Pskai also conveyed the president’s hopes for the more formal timetable for talks between the two governments on a variety of topics ranging from Ukraine to nuclear weapons to cyberattacks, as well as separate discussions in the NATO-Russia Council and in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which also includes Ukraine.
“President Biden reiterated that significant progress in these dialogues can only be achieved in an environment of de-escalation rather than escalation,” said Psaki.
The senior administration official told reporters that the upcoming meetings will address a number of concerns about Russian behavior, but “there will be some degree of overlap between the various talks”.
“We are going to be very clear and come to a very clear understanding and we have already started what exactly will be the agenda of each series of talks and this will be part of the focus of diplomacy over the next week, 10 days,” he said Officer.
Biden and Putin’s appeal was the second this month after the American president warned his Russian counterpart three weeks ago that the United States and European allies would impose “heavy” economic fines and other punitive measures on Russia should it invade Ukraine start.
But this time Putin asked for the interview.
The senior administrator described it as “part of a series of … late-year events involving President Putin”.
“But these weren’t just courtesies,” added the official. “That was a serious, substantial conversation.”
Putin’s overture has raised suspicions among some close watchers of the crisis that he is trying to take advantage of Biden to maximize his next aggressive move.
“I’m worried he’s trying to gather information about Biden or lay the groundwork for what he’s up to anyway,” said Evelyn Farkas, former deputy deputy secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia in the Obama administration. “It’s exhausting for him.”
“It’s pretty doable [Putin] has decided to invade, ”she added. “I think Biden had to take the call, but that’s not exactly a good sign for me. Some people have said this could be Putin trying to escalate. I’m afraid that is not the case, the opposite is the case. “
Russia has been building its armed forces for months and establishing new bases along Ukraine’s eastern border, including troops, armored vehicles and supplies that could indicate plans for a full and widespread invasion.
Satellite imagery over the past few weeks showed little evidence of Moscow pulling back – and even some evidence of expansion – although diplomatic efforts continued to grow.
The US continues to believe that Moscow must withdraw its troops from the border before an agreement can be approached that takes into account Russia’s public concerns about NATO enlargement.
“For there to be real progress in these talks, so that we can get to a place where we have security and stability in Europe … it needs de-escalation rather than escalation,” a senior administrator told reporters before the call. “Obviously this will be part of what President Biden is telling President Putin.”
The Biden government also insists that it is ready to send more military equipment to Ukraine to defend it.
“We stand ready to provide further assistance to Ukraine in defending its territory and responding to a possible Russian occupation if another invasion takes place in the coming weeks,” another senior administrative official told reporters before the call.
“This is a crisis for the Kremlin,” said Simon Miles, an assistant professor at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy and an expert on Russia.
“Hopefully the talks between Russia and the US will be productive,” he added. “But in all likelihood a solution must also involve the Ukrainian government.”
Hardie says he is “pessimistic about the prospects for diplomacy and suspicious of what the Kremlin is doing”.
Putin’s overtures, he warned, could be a “pretext for possible military action.”