Biden and Zelensky talk as Ukraine makes battlefield gains

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Biden and Zelensky talk as Ukraine makes battlefield gains

President Biden spoke by phone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Tuesday, as Ukrainian forces continued to drive back Russian invaders on two fronts.

The call took place days after Russian leader Vladimir Putin announced the annexation of all occupied territory in Ukraine — some 18% of the country — and vowed to back up his claim by using nuclear weapons, if necessary.

The call, first reported by Politico, comes as Biden has reaffirmed his support for Kyiv to the tune of $13 billion and declared Russia’s annexation claims illegal and illegitimate.

Meanwhile, Zelensky announced Tuesday he had ruled out negotiations with Russia as long as Putin held power after his annexation announcement was rubber-stamped by one chamber of Moscow’s parliament, the Duma.

The Kremlin replied by saying it will wait for Ukraine to agree to sit down for talks, noting that it may not happen until a new Ukrainian president takes office.

Volodymyr Zelensky
Biden’s call with Zelensky comes days after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the annexation of occupied territory in Ukraine.
Photo by HANDOUT/UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SER/AFP via Getty Images

“We will wait for the incumbent president to change his position or wait for a future Ukrainian president who would revise his stand in the interests of the Ukrainian people,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

With Post wires

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