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Scoop of the day: Biden urges Putin to de-escalate tensions with Ukraine

Scoop of the day: Biden urges Putin to de-escalate tensions with Ukraine

Biden-Putin call

President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin spoke for about 50 minutes on Thursday during the second conversation this month, Reuters has reported.

According to the White House, President Biden urged Russia to de-escalate tensions with Ukraine. He made clear that the United States and its allies and partners will respond decisively if Russia further invades Ukraine. President Biden also expressed support for diplomacy, starting early next year with the bilateral Strategic Stability Dialogue, at NATO through the NATO-Russia Council, and at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. President Biden reiterated that substantive progress in these dialogues can occur only in an environment of de-escalation rather than escalation.

Security

Police have detained the man who hurled a petrol bomb at the fence of the Russian general consulate in Lviv last week. The suspect comes from uncontrolled territories and has no connection with any civic movement, the secretary of the National Security and Defence Council, Oleksiy Danilov, has said.

"We do not see a threat of outright aggression from the Russian Federation at the moment, what will happen tomorrow - we will talk about it tomorrow," he said.

Danilov added that, according to experts, Russia would physically not be able to carry out a large-scale invasion into Ukraine now - there are certain calculations, a period of preparation, and there are no critical troop increments as of today.

Internal destabilisation is the No 1 issue for Russia, Danilov pointed out. He listed the Lviv incident as an example of a possible provocation act.

Separately, he said that the NSDC did not discuss the case of ex-President Petro Poroshenko today.

The NSDC plans to come up with a list of oligarchs in May, according to Danilov.

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