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Ukraine: Biden and his European allies agree to “continue to increase the cost paid by Russia”

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US President Joe Biden and several European leaders agreed in a phone call on Tuesday to continue to sanction Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine, warning against any “slackening of Western resolve”.

US President Joe Biden and several European leaders agreed in a phone call on Tuesday to continue to sanction Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine, warning against any “slackening of Western resolve”.

“No relaxation of Western determination”

During the approximately hour-long telephone conversation, the American, British, French, German and Italian leaders affirmed “their determination to continue to increase the cost paid by Russia for its brutal attack on Ukraine, as well as to continue to provide security assistance to Ukraine to defend itself,” according to a White House statement. Joe Biden, Boris Johnson, Emmanuel Macron, Olaf Scholz and Mario Draghi also agreed that ‘there can be no relaxation of Western resolve until the horror inflicted on Ukraine is over’ , according to a statement released by Downing Street.

The American president also said that Westerners were waiting to see if Russia “kept its word” on the reduction of its military activity in the direction of kyiv and Cherniguiv, in Ukraine. “There seems to be a consensus that we have to see what they have to offer,” Joe Biden told reporters. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also stressed that Putin’s regime should be judged “by its actions and not its words”, according to a press release.

Talks between Moscow and kyiv

Russian and Ukrainian delegations met Tuesday in Istanbul for talks described as “substantial” by the representative of the Kremlin, Vladimir Medinsky, at the end of the discussions. Russia has notably promised to “radically” reduce its military activity in the direction of kyiv and Cherniguiv, in Ukraine. For his part, the Ukrainian chief negotiator indicated that his country would agree to be neutral if it obtains an “international agreement” to guarantee its security.

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He said that after Tuesday’s talks in Istanbul, the conditions were “sufficient” for a summit meeting between Russian Presidents Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Saturday, at the end of a European tour, Joe Biden had caused trouble by saying that his Russian counterpart could “not stay in power”, a little phrase improvised by the president and immediately minimized by the White House.

Several experts and leaders of countries allied with the United States considered that this declaration went against the efforts of the West not to justify a Russian escalation in the war led by Moscow in Ukraine. Joe Biden, however, said on Monday that he was not withdrawing his remarks, which he said expressed his personal “outrage” and not a “policy” in favor of regime change.

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