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Kremlin Calls US-Russia Ties 'Lamentable' on Eve of Putin-Biden Video Call

© Sputnik / POOL / Go to the photo bankRussian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Joe Biden attend the Russian-American talks at the Villa La Grange in Geneva, Switzerland.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Joe Biden attend the Russian-American talks at the Villa La Grange in Geneva, Switzerland.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.12.2021
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The two presidents will be holding a video conference on 7 December to discuss ongoing issues in bilateral relations. US President Joe Biden namely planned to discuss the allegations of a Russian military buildup on the Ukrainian border. Moscow, for its part, has increasingly criticised NATO's eastward expansion and provocations in the Black Sea.
Current bilateral relations between Russia and the US are "lamentable" and Russian President Vladimir Putin will be discussing them during the upcoming video conference with US counterpart Joe Biden, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has stated.
The spokesman added that the two presidents will also go over the implementation of the agreements the two reached during the Geneva summit on 16 June 2021. They will identify those issues that have been successfully dealt with and those that require additional effort, Peskov noted.
Russian and U.S. state flags fly near a factory in Vsevolozhsk, Leningrad Region, Russia March 27, 2019 - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.07.2021
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The two presidents discussed a variety of issues during their June meeting in Geneva ranging from cybersecurity to cooperation in the Arctic. They agreed to roll back some of the mutual punitive measures against each other's diplomatic missions although the Russian Foreign Ministry still reports having issues obtaining visas for its workers. Putin and Biden additionally agreed to launch a dialogue on strategic stability to lay the groundwork for future arms control accords.

NATO's Eastward Advance and Ukraine

Peskov further stated that after discussing bilateral ties, Putin and Biden will probably then proceed to address those issues that have been "making noise" recently. He specified that these topics would include the tensions surrounding Ukraine and NATO's advance towards Russia's borders.
The spokesman also added that Putin's initiative on security guarantees might be addressed during the 7 December video conference between the two presidents. Peskov stressed that such guarantees can only be mutual, adding that Putin insists on maintaining "mutually respectful and fair" bilateral relations.
U.S. President Joe Biden and Russia's President Vladimir Putin meet for the U.S.-Russia summit at Villa La Grange in Geneva, Switzerland  - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.11.2021
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White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki earlier confirmed that US President Joe Biden might use the opportunity to raise the issue of Ukraine in the upcoming video call with Vladimir Putin. Biden also promised to make it "very, very difficult" for Putin to attack Ukraine amid a series of unsubstantiated media reports that Moscow might be concocting such a plan.
What started as reports about an alleged Russian military buildup on the border with Ukraine, has recently evolved into full-fledged claims about Putin having a ready-made plan for an offensive against the nation's western neighbour. The Kremlin has repeatedly rejected such allegations, calling them part of a fake news campaign to damage Moscow.
Ukrainian servicemen wearing camouflage take part in a military drill with US troops in Yavoriv polygon, Lviv district, western Ukraine, on July 22, 2015 - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.12.2021
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Russia further insisted that it is not planning to attack any country and stressed that the movements of the country's military on its own territory are of no one's concern. The Kremlin noted that it was not the West's place to comment on Russian military movements within its own territory, when NATO ships continue to emerge in the Black Sea, far away from their home shores.
Moscow said that it does not rule out the possibility of various provocations in light of allegations about plans to invade Ukraine. Russia cautioned the West against pumping Kiev with modern weapons, noting that Ukraine might be seeking to resolve its internal conflict in the east using military means.
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