© 2023 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WEDH · WEDN · WEDW · WEDY · WNPR
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Biden will speak by phone with Putin as Russia ramps up presence on Ukraine border

A Ukrainian soldier walks in a trench on the front line in Zolote, Ukraine, earlier this month. A buildup of Russian troops along the border with Ukraine has heightened worries that Russia intends to invade.
Brendan Hoffman
/
Getty Images
A Ukrainian soldier walks in a trench on the front line in Zolote, Ukraine, earlier this month. A buildup of Russian troops along the border with Ukraine has heightened worries that Russia intends to invade.

President Biden is expected to speak by phone to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday — at the Kremlin's request — weeks after the White House said Biden made it clear to Putin that if Russia decided to invade Ukraine, the United States and its European allies stand ready to respond with economic sanctions and military support.

Speaking with reporters on Wednesday, a senior administration official said the White House did not know why Russia had called for a conversation. But the call comes as the U.S. continues its diplomatic efforts over Russia's military buildup near its border with Ukraine.

"I think both leaders believe that there is genuine value in direct leader-to-leader engagement, that we are at a moment of crisis and have been for several weeks now given the Russian buildup and that it will take a high level of engagement to address this and to try to find a path to de-escalation," the administration official said.

Tens of thousands of Russian troops have been deployed to the border with Ukraine, prompting fears that Russia is preparing to launch a military invasion — as it did in 2014, during Biden's vice presidency, when it annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula.

Since the two leaders spoke earlier this month, there have been no signs of de-escalation around Ukraine, and the White House remains concerned about Russia's increased presence at the border.

"I would simply say that we continue to be gravely concerned about the nature of the Russian troop presence there — the capabilities that they have," the senior administration official said. "It is not entirely static from our perspective. I won't go into more detail on this line, but it remains a continuing source of grave concern what the Russians have been putting in place in and around that area."

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will speak to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Alana Wise
Alana Wise is a politics reporter on the Washington desk at NPR.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.

Related Content