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President Biden held a high-stakes hour-long phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin Saturday, amid dire warnings from the United States for Americans to evacuate Ukraine over the fears of an imminent Russian invasion.
Biden pressed for a de-escalation of the border tensions and warned of “swift and severe costs” on Russia should it invade Ukraine, but the call ended with little change, according to the White House.
“The call between the two presidents was professional and substantive [and] it lasted a bit over an hour,” a senior administration official said after the call Saturday. “There was no fundamental change in the dynamic that has been unfolding now for several weeks.”
Biden reiterated the consequences to Putin should it invade Ukraine and offered ideas for diplomatic solutions. Still, “it remains unclear whether Russia is interested in pursuing its goals diplomatically as opposed to through the use of force,” the official said, adding Russian military action in Ukraine is still “a distinct possibility. ”