During the conversation, the President expressed concern about the Americans who are still in Ukraine and expressed readiness to continue a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

Today’s telephone conversation between President Joe Biden and Russian leader Vladimir Putin, which lasted a little over an hour, was professional and took place in a rather friendly spirit, although no fundamental changes in the dynamics of the situation around Ukraine have occurred. A senior White House official told reporters at the end of the conversation between the two presidents.

According to the source, Joe Biden, in a conversation with Putin, “put forward ideas for discussion, the implementation of which meets our interests and the interests of our allies and which will strengthen European security.” In addition, as the interlocutor stated, it would help to dispel some of the concerns that were recently stated in Moscow.

However, it is not yet clear to the administration at the moment “whether Russia is interested in achieving its goal by diplomatic means, and not by the use of force.”

“We remain committed to preserving the prospect of de-escalation through diplomacy. The president very directly told President Putin about our concern about the safety of Americans still in Ukraine,” the source stressed. – Whatever Russia decides, according to our assessment, its efforts to improve its strategic position are already failing. And it will only get worse if they decide to start military operations.”

The two presidents agreed that their teams will continue working together in the coming days to resolve the crisis. However, as the interlocutor warned, Moscow “may decide to take military action in any case,” and if this happens, “the damage inflicted on Ukraine, European security and Russia will be enormous.”

“We have also stated very clearly that we strongly prefer not to conduct public negotiations because we do not believe that this is the best way to find a path to de-escalation,” an administration official said, declining to go into details of the conversation between the two presidents.

However, according to the interlocutor, the conversation took place in a friendly spirit. Washington remains interested in finding “a way to solve problems and find solutions that meet our interests, the interests of our partners and allies and that can be addressed in relation to some of the concerns expressed by Russia.”

Responding to a request from journalists to comment on yesterday’s statement by Jake Sullivan, the president’s national security adviser, about the likelihood of a Russian invasion of Ukraine in the coming days, the interlocutor stressed that the administration’s assessments are not based on public statements by the Kremlin, but on what Americans “see with their own eyes on the ground.”

According to the source, we are talking about “the continued build-up of Russia’s positions on the border with Ukraine, as well as the absence of significant evidence of escalation or a real interest in de-escalation.”

“Thus, we feel that the trend that we have been observing and talking about for many weeks continues. I think President Biden and other officials have made it clear that if Russia continues on the path of escalation, the United States will continue to increase our support to Ukraine so that it can defend itself, and this approach has not changed,” a senior White House official said.