“What I am doing is putting together what I believe to be the most comprehensive and meaningful set of initiatives to make it very, very difficult for Mr. Putin to go ahead and do what people are worried he’s going to do,” Biden said on Friday night ahead of a video call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that is expected to take place within days.
“My expectation is we’re going to have a long discussion with Putin,” Biden told reporters, according to Reuters.
“I don’t accept anybody’s red lines,” he said of Russia’s demands.
Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of military buildup along their borders.
Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, citing intelligence reports, has said Moscow may be planning a large-scale military offensive for the end of January. Russia has rejected the allegation.
Moscow, in turn, has accused Ukraine and the United States of destabilizing behavior and suggested Kiev might be preparing to launch its own offensive in eastern Ukraine where pro-Russian forces have a foothold.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday the West was refusing to constructively consider proposals to de-escalate tensions over Ukraine and prevent dangerous incidents.
He warned NATO against turning countries neighboring Russia, i.e. Ukraine, into “bridgeheads of confrontation”, and said he hoped Russian proposals for a new security pact would be carefully considered.