President Biden spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday about the French leader’s meeting with Russian and Ukrainian leaders this week amid Moscow’s military buildup along the border.
The White House said they discussed Macron’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday and his meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday.
“They also talked about ongoing diplomatic and deterrence efforts, undertaken in close coordination with our Allies and partners, in response to Russia’s continued military build-up on Ukraine’s borders,” according to the White House.
Wednesday’s call was the second phone call between Biden and Macron in a week. They spoke on Sunday about “diplomatic and deterrence efforts” in response to Russia’s military build up and agreed to stay in touch on the conflict.
Macron said Putin assured him that he will not escalate the Ukraine crisis during their five hour meeting, but the Kremlin later denied reports that a de-escalation agreement was struck.
Russia has amassed more than 100,000 troops near the Ukrainian border, raising fears among the U.S. and allies that Moscow may be planning to invade Ukraine. Although Moscow has denied that it intends to invade Ukraine, it has shown no signs of drawing down its military posture.
The U.S. is in the midst of deploying 1,700 troops to Poland to bolster regional preparedness for a Russian invasion, while the U.S. and its allies have also promised an array of economic sanctions should Russian troops against cross into Ukraine.