Biden Speaks With Putin For First Time As President

President Biden spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, the first phone call between the two leaders since Biden became president last week, the White House confirmed.

“President Biden made clear that the United States will act firmly in defense of its national interests in response to actions by Russia that harm us or our allies,” the White House said in a statement. “The two presidents agreed to maintain transparent and consistent communication going forward.”

According to the White House Readout of the call, Biden discussed a five-year extension to New START, the strategic arms reduction treaty, “agreeing to have their teams work urgently to complete the extension by February 5,” as well as also reaffirming the U.S.’s “firm support for Ukraine’s sovereignty,” and media reports of Russia placing bounties on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.

Biden also raised the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny.

The Russians described the call as “business like and frank.”

“Vladimir Putin congratulated Joseph Biden on the start of his work as President of the United States,” the Kremlin described the call in a readout translated of the call. “He noted that normalization of relations between Russia and the United States would meet the interests of both countries and — given their special responsibility for maintaining security and stability in the world — of the entire international community.”

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