Responding to queries about whether the two heads of state would talk any time soon, especially in light of talks between Russia and Ukraine, White House communications director Kate Bedingfield told CNN that such talks were unlikely barring “serious de-escalation” by Russia.
“Not currently. We’ve been very clear that any reengagement of diplomacy at that level would require significant demonstration from the Russians of serious de-escalation and we have not seen that,” Bedingfield told CNN.
“President Biden was clear that, if Russia undertakes a further invasion of Ukraine, the United States together with our Allies and partners will respond decisively and impose swift and severe costs on Russia,” the White House had said in a statement on February 12, furnishing some details about what was discussed in the hour-long call.
“President Biden reiterated that a further Russian invasion of Ukraine would produce widespread human suffering and diminish Russia’s standing. President Biden was clear with President Putin that while the United States remains prepared to engage in diplomacy, in full coordination with our Allies and partners, we are equally prepared for other scenarios,” the statement had added.
Since the phone call, however, the two leaders have been engaged in a war of words, and President Biden has used various adjectives to describe his counterpart, ranging from “pure thug” to “murderous dictator” to a “war criminal.”