All news

At meeting with Putin, Biden to declare US desire for stable relations — Blinken

Washington expects the conversation to take place "in the very near future"
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken Jonathan Nackstrand/Pool Photo via AP
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken
© Jonathan Nackstrand/Pool Photo via AP

WASHINGTON, December 4. /TASS/. During his upcoming talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, US President Joe Biden will declare Washington’s desire to have more stable relations with Moscow, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said during the Reuters Next online forum.

"I think when they speak, the President will lay out <…> our strong desire for greater predictability and stability in the relationship," he said.

According to the US top diplomat, Washington expects the conversation to take place "in the very near future."

"There’s no substitute for direct conversation, communication between officials, <…> but especially between President Biden and President Putin. President Putin is the decision maker in Russia, and it’s very important that he hear directly from President Biden," Blinken continued.

He went on to say that Biden would "stand up resolutely against any reckless or aggressive actions that Russia may pursue."]

European countries will take very serious measures against Russia in case of its confrontation with Ukraine.

"In the case of Ukraine, if Russia decides to pursue a confrontation course, if it renews its aggression, there will be very serious consequences, and not just from us but from other countries as well in Europe," he said during the Reuters Next online forum.

According to Blinken, Washington and Brussels have "not just the shared concern about what Russia is doing but a determination to stand resolutely against it."

"And I hope very much that Russia factors that into its thinking, especially because there is a much better way forward. A confrontation would be in no one’s interests," he said.

Defensive alliance 

NATO has no intention to take aggressive actions against Russia, Blinken said.

"I think the most important thing that President Putin seems to discount or ignore is that NATO is a defensive alliance. It’s a transparent alliance," he said, commenting on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s earlier remarks that Moscow will view as red lines the deployment of missile strike systems, hypersonic missiles, and MK-41 launchers in Ukraine.

"It is not an alliance aimed at Russia. It’s not an alliance that is going to commit acts of aggression against Russia," he continued. "The only aggression that we’ve seen in this space in recent years, unfortunately, has been from Russia - first Georgia and then Ukraine. So I think this is a very misplaced way of looking at things."

"The only threat of aggression that currently exists is renewed Russian aggression against Ukraine. That’s what we very much want to make sure doesn’t happen," Blinken added.

In his opinion, Moscow’s actions "have precipitated NATO shoring up its own defenses and its own defenses closer to Russia - exactly what President Putin says he wants to prevent."

"What would make sense would be for President Putin to really think this through; and if he has concerns or - and legitimate concerns about security, then don’t engage in actions that are provocative and that will cause a defensive alliance to shore up its defenses," the US top diplomat said.

Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said earlier in the day that the date of Putin’s contact in the videoconference format has been preliminarily approved and will be announced as soon as it is agreed with the US side. According to Ushakov, Putin and Biden will discuss bilateral relations, current issues on the international agenda, including Afghanistan, Iran, Ukraine, Libya, and, possibly, Syria. Apart from that, the leaders will discuss the progress in the strategic stability dialogue and, probably, the implementation of Russia’s initiative to convene a summit of the United Nations Security Council permanent members.