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Putin warns Biden of ‘complete rupture’ in relations if sanctions proceed

Russia’s president spoke in a 50-minute phone call with Biden amid U.S. fears that Moscow may once again invade Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned in a phone call with President Biden late Thursday that any new sanctions on Russia as a result of the Ukraine crisis could lead to “a complete rupture of relations” between Moscow and Washington that their descendants would come to regret, according to Putin’s foreign policy aide, the Washington Post reports.

Putin issued the warning during his second phone call this month with Biden, after the U.S. president reiterated how Russia would face unprecedented and punishing sanctions from Washington and its allies if Putin were to proceed with a new invasion of Ukraine, according to Russian presidential foreign policy aide Yuri Ushakov.

Putin told Biden that such actions would be a mistake, “which our descendants will later appreciate as a huge one,” Ushakov said, according to the Interfax news agency. “Many such mistakes have already been made over the past 30 years. Therefore, it is advisable not to make such mistakes in this situation.”

The call, which took place at Putin’s request and lasted 50 minutes, came as the Kremlin ratchets up pressure for a sweeping new European security deal after massing troops near the border of Ukraine and firing a test salvo of hypersonic weapons last week to reinforce its demands.

Putin has demanded swift acceptance of a proposed security deal that would bar Ukraine from ever joining NATO and rule out any other eastward expansion by the U.S.-led military alliance. The Russian leader has accused Western nations of encroaching on Russia’s borders with military exercises in the Black Sea region and turning Ukraine into a beachhead for anti-Russia action.

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