Dec 10, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden addresses Russia-Ukraine tension with new German chancellor

Biden speaks on the phone.

President Biden. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

President Biden spoke with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Friday, congratulating the new leader and addressing Russia’s escalation of forces along Ukraine's border.

The big picture: Biden reaffirmed his support for "robust U.S.-German relations and desire to further strengthen transatlantic cooperation," the White House said.

  • "I look forward to working closely together on the full range of global challenges, including transatlantic efforts to address Russia’s destabilizing military buildup along Ukraine’s border," Biden said in a tweet regarding the call.
  • Biden and Scholz also spoke about efforts to help end the COVID-19 pandemic and counter the threat of climate change, according to the White House.

Catch up quick: In a phone call Tuesday, Biden told Russian President Vladimir Putin that the "price of invading Ukraine would be steeper than anything he's faced in the past," Axios' Dave Lawler writes.

  • Putin sought legal guarantees from Biden that NATO would not expand farther to the East.
  • On Thursday, White House officials said Biden wouldn't pressure Ukraine to surrender territory to Russian-backed separatists to deter Putin from launching a large-scale invasion.
  • Biden officials also said the U.S. is prepared to send additional military aid to Ukraine and increase its troop presence, capabilities and military exercises on NATO's "eastern flank" in response to any Russian incursion.
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