Earlier yesterday, the 50-minute call between U.S President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin seemed to steer hopes of easing tensions. However, reports of both sides warning each other of consequences have left the situation in eastern Europe uneasy.
According to Yuri Viktorovich Ushakov, an advisor to Vladimir Putin on foreign policy issues, Putin reportedly warned Biden that sanctions “could lead to a complete breakdown in ties between our countries,” he further stated, “Our president [Putin] also mentioned that it would be a mistake that our descendants would see as a huge error.”
According to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, President Biden urged Russia to de-escalate tensions with Ukraine. He also clarified that the United States and its allies and partners would respond decisively if Russia further invades Ukraine.
Tensions also heated up when Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia would “eliminate unacceptable threats” if the United States and NATO did not respond to the Kremlin’s security demands. On Friday, Lavrov told Russia’s state-run Ria Novosti news agency that the foreign ministry would not allow the proposals to be stuck in “endless discussions.”