(CNN) – US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin are holding a virtual summit on Tuesday amid growing tensions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The meeting started a few minutes after 10 ET, a US official said.
Biden is in the White House’s atmosphere room for the meeting.
Russian state media RIA Novosti also reported that the meeting had begun. Putin attends the call from his home in Sochi.
Russian state television broadcast the first images of a video call between Biden and Putin.
You may hear Pita and Putin greet each other. “Congratulations, Mr. President,” the Russian president was quoted as saying.
In a clip shared by state media, Biden said: “Hello, nice to see you again. Unfortunately, we have not been able to see each other on the G20 for the last time. Hope to see you in person next time we meet.”
A translator may be asked to translate Biden’s comments to Putin.
The summit is one of the most important calls from Biden’s presidency, as he receives stern warnings from the U.S. intelligence community that Moscow is preparing to invade. Ukraine Next month.
In recent months, Russia has installed supply lines, including fuel and medical units, which could sustain a protracted conflict if Moscow decides to invade Ukraine, two sources familiar with the latest intelligence assessments told CNN. In addition, the latest information from the US intelligence services estimates that Russia may launch a military strike in a few months, as it has amassed up to 175,000 troops on the border with Ukraine.
If the Russian president decides to invade Ukraine, Biden plans to expose Putin to US sanctions and other measures. U.S. intelligence believes Putin has not yet decided to launch a military offensive against Ukraine, and Biden plans to tell Putin that the United States is prepared to take “significant economic countermeasures” to inflict “significant and severe economic damage.” Said.
The two leaders attended a summit in Geneva last June. His last public known call was in July.
On Monday, the Pentagon confirmed that it was continuing to look into “added military capability” by Russian forces on the country’s border with Ukraine.
“What we continue to see is that President Putin is adding military capability to his country in the west and around Ukraine,” said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby.
In recent days, US officials have weighed in on the possibility of imposing long-term sanctions on Russia to prevent Putin from launching an invasion of Ukraine. These include new actions against members of Putin’s inner circle and new measures against Russian energy producers, as well as possible “nuclear preferences”: the disconnection of Russia from the international SWIFT tariff system used by banks around the world.
Officials said no final decision had been made on when and when to use the new sanctions, and that the Biden government was currently in talks with European partners – many of whom have close economic ties with Russia – in the hope of coordinating the operation.
During a press conference at the White House on Monday, Biden said, “As we have said publicly, we are preparing sanctions or economic options that could harm the Russian economy.”
The administration is exploring the possibility of deporting American citizens from Ukraine, if Russia occupies the country and creates a serious security situation, according to half a dozen sources CNN. Sources say contingency planning is being directed by the Pentagon and the administration is explaining to Congress how the United States is preparing.
At a “tough” conference of senators with senior Foreign Minister Victoria Nuland on Monday night, Nuland outlined tough sanctions by the administration in response to a possible Russian attack, but he acknowledged US wishes to prevent an invasion. There are very few, said someone familiar with the conference.
News in development …