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Putin 'pleased' with Biden talks, warns against sanctions: Kremlin

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In this image provided by the White House on December 30, 2021 US President Joe Biden speaks on the phone to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on diplomatic solutions to soaring Russia-West tensions over Ukraine, in Wilmington, Delaware, United States. (Photo: WHITE HOUSE / AFP)
MOSCOW, Russia — Russian President Vladimir Putin was satisfied by his call with Joe Biden but warned the US president new sanctions risked a "complete rupture," insisting Russia needed concrete results from upcoming security talks, Moscow said Friday.اضافة اعلان

Biden and Putin discussed soaring Russia-West tensions over Ukraine on Thursday in a phone call to open the door for a diplomatic solution informal talks due next month.

The call, held at the request of the Kremlin leader, lasted 50 minutes, a White House official said from Wilmington, Delaware, where Biden was spending the New Year's holiday at home.

Putin's foreign policy adviser Yury Ushakov said the Kremlin was overall "pleased" with the talks but added Putin warned Biden Moscow needed a positive outcome, and the upcoming security talks could not last indefinitely.

"We need a result, and we will be pushing for a result in the form of ensuring guaranteed security for Russia," Ushakov told reporters in a conference call.

Earlier this month, the Russians issued a sweeping set of demands, including guarantees that NATO would not expand further and a bar on new US military bases in former territories of the Soviet Union.

"Negotiations should not turn into idle talk," Ushakov said. He did not give a precise timeframe but said the Kremlin would assess the situation after several rounds of talks set to begin in January in Geneva, Brussels, and Vienna.

"Then we will make conclusions," he said.

During the call, according to Ushakov, Biden said the United States could introduce major sanctions against Russia if tensions over Ukraine continued to escalate.

Washington and its European allies accuse Russia of threatening Ukraine with an invasion.

Putin warned Biden against introducing new sanctions, saying they could lead to a "complete rupture" in Russia and the West ties.

"This will be a colossal mistake which could lead to serious -- the most serious -- consequences. We hope this will not happen," Ushakov said.

Asked if Russia would be ready to agree to a compromise, Ushakov said: "What is a compromise? Naturally, the negotiations mean that we will take into account American concerns."

But he added that it was not a compromise that Russia was seeking but security guarantees. "We will push for that," he added.

In an article for Foreign Policy published Thursday, Anatoly Antonov, Russia's ambassador to the United States, said the current situation was "extremely dangerous."

"No one should doubt our determination to defend our security. However, everything has its limits," he wrote.

"If our partners keep constructing military-strategic realities imperiling the existence of our country, we will be forced to create similar vulnerabilities for them."

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