What to Know About the Biden-Putin Phone Call

President Joe Biden cautioned Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday that if Moscow invades Ukraine, the US and its allies in the region will band together to apply “severe” economic sanctions and other painful measures.

Was Biden Strong Enough?

As per a White House printout, Biden “expressed the grave concerns of the United States and our allies in the region about Russia’s increase of troops enclosing Ukraine.”

Biden also stated clearly that in the event of military buildup, the United States, as well as our allies, will indeed react with solid economic and other metrics.

According to the White House, Biden “reaffirmed his backing for Ukraine’s sovereignty and national stability, urging for de-escalation and a resumption to negotiations.”

“Their teams have been tasked with following up,” the two leaders said, “and the US will do so in proper cooperation with partners and friends.”

National security advisor Jake Sullivan described the talk as “simple and unambiguous” during a White House news conference on Tuesday. “There was no pointing of fingers,” Sullivan added, “but the president was quite clear about where the US sits on all of these problems.”

In contrast to suggesting extraordinary economic measures, Biden cautioned Putin that if his country goes to war with Ukraine, the US will send additional military supplies to the Ukrainians.

When asked how prospective financial sanctions may dissuade Russia if they don’t end the 2014 invasion of Crimea, Sullivan said Biden was prepared to take other approaches.

“I’ll tell you, just as President Biden did today with President Putin, that things we didn’t accomplish in 2014, we’re ready to do now,” he said.

No Guarantees!

According to Sullivan, the president also made no guarantees or compromises on NATO in terms of reduced US participation or Ukraine’s participation.

According to Sullivan, Biden called French Leader Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Prime Minister of Italy Mario Draghi, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday.

The call was to inform them about the Putin conference, trying to continue a discussion the leaders started on Monday ahead of time before Biden’s call with Putin.

According to Sullivan, the president will meet with leaders of both houses of Congress late Tuesday. Biden will seek to explore how the government and lawmakers can work together “on a nonpolitical basis to make a stand for American values, US interests, and stand with our friends and allies.”

On Thursday, Biden will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, according to Sullivan. On Monday, Biden spoke with his European friends around 5 p.m.

“I don’t believe anybody was anticipating this call alone to cause any type of dramatic ratcheting down of hostilities,” one European official said. “Yet, it’s a vital step, and it’s important for Putin to hear that unified resolve.”