Ukrainian, US presidents discuss regional security over phone

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and US President Joe Biden held a telephone conversation late Sunday discussing regional security issues, according to Zelensky’s official Twitter account.

   Zelensky said he appreciated US support for Ukraine, noting that the phone conversation with Biden illustrated the “special nature” of relations between Kiev and Washington.

   The Ukrainian government-run news agency Ukrinform, citing the White House, said during their phone call Zelensky and Biden expressed support for diplomatic efforts to resolve tensions with Russia, starting with Russia-US bilateral Strategic Stability Dialogue scheduled for January 2022.

   The phone interaction between Zelensky and Biden, the second the two leaders have held in less than a month, also touched upon the de-escalation of tensions in Ukraine’s eastern region of Donbas through the Minsk Agreements and the Normandy Format.

   Last week, Biden discussed security issues with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

   The first round of security negotiations between the United States and Russia will take place in Geneva on January 9-10. They will later continue in Brussels within the framework of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization-Russia Council on January 12, and within the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on January 13. 

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