The conversation focused on the implementation of the agreement to launch negotiations on providing Russia with legally binding security guarantees, reached during the December 7 videoconference to launch negotiations on providing Russia with legally binding security guarantees. Vladimir Putin detailed the fundamental approaches underlying the Russian drafts of the Treaty between the Russian Federation and the United States of America and the Agreement between the Russian Federation and the member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. He stressed that the negotiations needed to produce solid legally binding guarantees ruling out NATO’s eastward expansion and the deployment of weapons that threaten Russia in the immediate vicinity of its borders. Vladimir Putin further emphasised that the security of any nation cannot be ensured unless the principle of indivisible security is strictly observed.
Both leaders expressed willingness to engage in a serious and substantive dialogue on these issues. It was confirmed that the negotiations would take place first in Geneva on January 9–10 and then as part of the Russia-NATO Council in Brussels on January 12. Negotiations are also to be held at the OSCE on January 13. The presidents agreed to personally supervise these negotiating tracks, especially bilateral, with a focus on reaching results quickly.
In this context, Joseph Biden emphasised that Russia and the US shared a special responsibility for ensuring stability in Europe and the whole world and that Washington had no intention of deploying offensive strike weapons in Ukraine.
Vladimir Putin gave an exhaustive response to the mention once again by Joseph Biden of the possibility of imposing “large-scale” sanctions in the event of an escalation of the situation around Ukraine. He suggested that this would be a grave error, de facto fraught with the danger of a complete breakdown in Russia-US relations.
The presidents exchanged New Year greetings and best wishes.
Overall, the conversation took place in a frank and business-like atmosphere and it was certainly of benefit to both parties. The leaders agreed to continue regular contacts at the highest level.