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Putin-Biden Talks: What Next for Ukraine?

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Russia’s Vladimir Putin and US counterpart Joe Biden agreed not to impose new sanctions over Ukraine.

This came in a phone call between the two leaders late on Thursday.

The Russian president said such sanctions would be a “colossal mistake”.

Biden, meanwhile, told Putin that the US and its allies would respond decisively to any invasion of Ukraine.

The call, requested by Russia, was the pair’s second such conversation this month and lasted for almost an hour.

It marked the latest effort to defuse tensions over Ukraine’s eastern border with Russia, where Ukrainian officials say more than 100,000 Russian troops have been sent.

The build-up has further prompted concern in the West, with the US threatening Mr Putin with sanctions if Ukraine comes under attack.

Russia, however, denies it is planning to invade the country and says the troops are there for exercises. It says it can move its troops freely on its own soil.

New Agreement

Russia and Ukraine have earlier reached a new agreement to restore a 2020 ceasefire deal in eastern Ukraine.

Ukrainian presidential chief of staff Andriy Yermak hailed the deal, saying the coming holidays “should be peaceful”.

The deal was brokered by Europe’s OSCE security organisation as a step towards de-escalation.

The agreement coincides with heightened tensions in the region.

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