In particular, the two presidents discussed the outcomes of the June 2021 Russian-American summit in Geneva, noting the importance of consistent progress in implementing the agreements reached at the highest level and preserving the Geneva spirit when discussing bilateral relations or other issues that may arise between Russia and the United States.
In this context, the presidents recalled the fact that the two countries were allies during World War II. They emphasised the need to remember the sacrifices made at that time, while this allied relationship must set an example for establishing contacts and working together in today’s reality.
The intra-Ukrainian crisis and the lack of progress in implementing the 2015 Minsk agreements, which have no alternative for bringing about a peaceful resolution, topped the conversation’s agenda. The President of Russia shared specific examples to illustrate the destructive nature of Kiev’s policy to dismantle the Minsk Package of Measures and the agreements reached within the Normandy format. He also expressed serious concern about Kiev’s provocative actions against Donbass.
Joseph Biden, in turn, focused on what he described as “threatening” movements of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border and outlined the sanctions the United States and its allies would be ready to impose should the situation escalate any further.
In response, Vladimir Putin warned against shifting the responsibility on Russia, since it was NATO that was undertaking dangerous attempts to gain a foothold on Ukrainian territory, and building up its military capabilities along the Russian border. It is for this reason that Russia is eager to obtain reliable, legally binding guaranties ruling out the eventuality of NATO’s eastward expansion and the deployment of offensive weapons systems in the countries neighbouring Russia.
The two leaders agreed to instruct their representatives to engage in meaningful consultations on these sensitive matters.
The meeting also included an exchange of views on information security, with both sides emphasising the importance of the ongoing dialogue on this topic. They expressed their readiness to continue working together on practical matters related to combatting cybercrime through the criminal justice process, as well as using technical intelligence.
They discussed the developments around the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the Iranian nuclear programme. The Russian President noted the importance of ensuring that it is fully implemented in its original version. The leaders expressed hope that the talks on this issue, which resumed in late November in Vienna, will be constructive, and will bring about solutions that would be acceptable to all the parties involved.
The two presidents discussed the bilateral agenda, stating that the level of cooperation between their countries remains unsatisfactory. In particular, this situation manifests itself in the challenges faced by the scaled-down diplomatic missions of the two countries. Vladimir Putin stressed that all this results from the policy line adopted by the US authorities as far back as five years ago, when they started enacting far-reaching restrictions, bans and mass expulsions of Russian diplomats, compelling Russia to respond in kind. Russia proposed resetting all the existing restrictions regarding the functioning of the diplomatic missions, which could help bring other aspects of diplomatic relations between the two countries back to normal.
The presidents expressed the view that, considering their special responsibility for international security and stability, Russia and the United States will continue their dialogue and the necessary contacts.
Overall, the conversation took place in a sincere and business-like atmosphere.