US President Joe Biden does not want tensions with Russia to escalate. At the same time, however, he issued a warning to Putin.
Washington (AP) – Despite the new sanctions against Russia, Washington does not want to stir up tensions with Moscow, US President Joe Biden said.
“The US does not intend to initiate a cycle of escalation and conflict with Russia,” US President Joe Biden said at the White House. He also warned, “If Russia continues to interfere in our democracy, I am ready to take further action.” The sanctions now imposed could have been tougher, Biden said. But he decided to respond “proportionately”.
On Tuesday, Biden had suggested a summit meeting in a third country in a phone call from Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin. On Thursday, the US president said his proposal should hold such a meeting in Europe in the summer. It remains to be seen whether Putin will accept the invitation. In the Kremlin it was said that sanctions for such top plans are not helpful. Ultimately, however, the heads of state would have to decide for themselves whether to meet.
In retaliation for hacker attacks and interference in the US election attributed to Moscow, the US had previously expelled ten Russian diplomats and imposed a number of new sanctions. The White House said there were five members of the Russian secret services among the Washington Mission diplomats. The Russian State Department called the US side’s actions “unacceptable” and announced a sharp response to the new US sanctions.
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