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Biden warns about election meddling with Putin in a first phone call

Biden warns about election meddling with Putin in a first phone call

January 27, 2021: U.S. President Joe Biden has warned Russian leader Vladimir Putin about election meddling in their first call as counterparts, the White House says.

The conversation included discussing the current opposition protests in Russia and an extension of the last remaining US-Russia nuclear arms pact.

Mr. Putin congratulated the new U.S. president on winning the election, according to a Russian statement.

Donald Trump sometimes undercut his own administration’s rigid posture on Russia and was accused by some of being too deferential to Mr. Putin.

“President Biden made clear that the U.S. will act thoroughly in defense of its national interests to actions by Russia that harm us or our allies,” the White House said in a short statement, referencing the main talking points of Tuesday afternoon’s call but listing no further details.

The U.S. said that Biden and Putin also discussed the massive SolarWinds cyber-attack, to which Moscow is blamed.

Russian officials said their president had “noted that the normalization of relations between Russia and the United States would meet the interests of both countries and taking into account their special responsibility for maintaining security and stability in the world.”

“On the whole, the conversation between Russia and the United States leaders was of a business-like and frank nature,” Kremlin said.

The two leaders appeared to seal an agreement to renew New Start, an Obama-era accord that limits the amounts of warheads, missiles, and launchers in the US-Russian nuclear arsenals.

It was due to expire next month, and Mr. Trump had refused to sign on.

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