US President Joe Biden said his recent conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin concerning bilateral relations was "candid and respectful."
"Earlier this week, I spoke with President Putin of Russia about the nature of our relationship between our two countries," Biden said on Thursday. "The conversation was candid and respectful."
"I propose that we meet in person, this summer in Europe," he said on his summit with Putin being worked out by aides.
This statement comes after Washington imposed sanctions on 32 Russian entities and individuals for their alleged interference in the 2020 US presidential election and the purported hacking of US software supply chain networks.
Biden in his speech today said he strongly urged Putin to refrain from any military action in Ukraine. "...I expressed concern about Russia's military buildup on Ukraine's border and occupied Crimea. I affirmed US support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and I strongly urged them to refrain from any military action."
He also notified the Russian President that his administration could have taken more action against Russia but instead chose to be proportionate.
Earlier, during a phone call with Putin, Biden on Tuesday had voiced his concerns over the sudden Russian military build-up in occupied Crimea and on Ukraine's borders, and called on Russia to de-escalate tensions.
He had reaffirmed his goal of building a stable and predictable relationship with Russia consistent with US interests and proposed a summit meeting in a third country in the coming months to discuss the full range of issues facing the United States and Russia.
"President Biden also made clear that the United States will act firmly in defence of its national interests in response to Russia's actions, such as cyber intrusions and election interference. President Biden emphasised the United States' unwavering commitment to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity," the White House said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Russia has continued to refute all accusations of its engagement in US elections meddling and cyberattacks, Sputnik reported.
( With inputs from ANI )
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