Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov claimed Tuesday's phone call between President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin was "businesslike" and Biden did not use the opportunity to raise the issue of political prisoner Alexei Navalny, imprisoned after accusing Putin of an assassination attempt. The White House claimed in its readout of the call – Biden's second with the Russian strongman since his inauguration – that Biden expressed "concerns" over Putin's sudden, rapid buildup of military equipment on the border with Ukraine, which followed that nation's president, Volodymyr Zelensky, signing an executive decree putting into motion a plan to liberate Ukrainian Crimea from Russian colonization. The White House also claimed the two leaders discussed negotiations regarding the START nuclear arms agreement, which Biden abruptly agreed to extend for five years despite the Russians only asking for a one-year extension. Under President Donald Trump, the United States refused to extend the agreement without expanding it to other world nuclear powers like China. "It was businesslike," Peskov, the Putin spokesman, told reporters on Wednesday about the nature of the call. He described it as "long enough" given the range of topics discussed, including a potential in-person meeting between Biden and Putin. "Putin… Read full this story
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