PM call with Biden, Draghi, Macron and Merkel ahead of US-Russia conversation

The Prime Minister spoke with President Biden, Prime Minister Draghi, President Macron and Chancellor Merkel about the Ukraine yesterday evening.

The leaders agreed that recent meetings of the G20 and of NATO Foreign Ministers had been useful forums for discussions on this issue. They emphasised the need to provide a united front in the face of Russian threats and hostility.

The leaders called on Russia to de-escalate tensions and reaffirmed their staunch support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

The Prime Minister reiterated the points he made to President Putin when they spoke earlier this year in this regard, and which the Foreign Secretary also made to her Russian counterpart last week. The Prime Minister said the UK would continue to use all the economic and diplomatic tools at its disposal to prevent any Russian aggression against Ukraine.

The leaders agreed to speak again following President Biden’s upcoming talks with President Putin.

The White House has said in a statement: “The leaders discussed their shared concern about the Russian military build-up on Ukraine’s borders and Russia’s increasingly harsh rhetoric … They called on Russia to de-escalate tensions and agreed that diplomacy, especially through the Normandy Format, is the only way forward to resolve the conflict in Donbas through the implementation of the Minsk Agreements … They agreed that their teams will stay in close touch, including in consultation with NATO allies and EU partners, on a coordinated and comprehensive approach.”

The United States government has said Russia may be planning an invasion of Ukraine in a potential repeat of its 2014 annexation of Crimea.

Tens of thousands of Russian troops have amassed on Ukraine’s eastern border since mid-November.

Polish prime minister Mteusz Morawiecki and other western leaders have accused Belarus’s authoritarian leader, backed by Russian premier Vladimir Putin, of sending migrants to the Polish border due to fury over EU sanctions on the Lukashenko regime.

Belarus shares borders with both Russia, Ukraine and Poland.