Biden-Solz communication on Russia, Ukraine and pandemic tensions

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US President Joe Biden announced on Friday that he had discussed with German new Chancellor Olaf Solz the tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

“I spoke to German Chancellor Olaf Solz today to congratulate him. “I look forward to working closely with him on all global challenges, including transatlantic efforts to counter destabilizing Russian troops along Ukraine’s border,” said White House resident Joe Biden on Twitter.

In addition to the Russia-Ukraine tensions, the US presidency said in a statement that the two leaders also discussed “ongoing efforts to end the new coronavirus pandemic and address the threat of climate change.”

“Joe Biden and Olaf Soltz” reaffirmed the close ties between Germany and the United States and their willingness to consolidate and deepen them, “the chancellor said.

Biden contacts with leaders

The telephone conversation was added to a series of contacts between Mr Biden and other leaders. On Tuesday, the US head of state discussed during a video conference with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, in which he said that new, even heavier sanctions would be imposed if Moscow launches an attack on Ukrainian territory.

He then spoke with the leaders of several European countries, as well as with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In the last month, the West has accused Russia of preparing to invade Ukraine; Moscow says it will move its armed forces to its territory as it pleases and insists it does not threaten anyone. He in turn accuses the West of engaging in a series of “challenges”.

Ukraine-Russia relations collapsed in 2014, after Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, which Kiev demands to be returned. Some 14,000 people have been killed in fighting between pro-Russian separatists and the Ukrainian army in eastern Ukraine, according to Ukrainian authorities.

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