Biden, Putin Set For Crucial Call Over Ukraine

U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian leader Vladimir Putin on Tuesday will hold a high-stakes video conference call on Moscow's intention for Kiiv.

Ahead of his first direct talks with Mr. Putin since July, Mr. Biden consulted with European allies on Monday to discuss plans for sanctions against Russia and seek a strong allied stance in support of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Biden spoke to French President Mr. Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Ms Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Mr. Mario Draghi, and British Prime Minister Mr. Boris Johnson.

They called on Russia to de-escalate tensions and return to diplomacy and said their teams will stay in close touch, including in consultation with NATO allies and EU partners, on a “coordinated and comprehensive approach,” the White House said.

Biden’s team has identified a set of economic penalties to impose should Russia launch an invasion, a senior Mr. Biden administration official said.

A separate source familiar with the situation said targeting MR. Putin’s inner circle has been discussed but no decision had been made. Sanctions against Russia’s biggest banks and the ability to convert rubles into dollars and other currencies were also being considered, another source said.

White House spokeswoman Ms. Jen Psaki said it remained unclear whether Putin had made a final decision to invade Ukraine.

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