Joe Biden spoke with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz about "Russia's destabilizing military build-up."


Joe Biden spoke with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz about "Russia's destabilizing military build-up."

In his first telephone conversation with Angela Merkel's successor, the US president addressed the tension on the Ukrainian border where thousands of Russian troops are concentrated.

US President Joe Biden addressed the mobilization of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine in his first telephone conversation with Olaf Scholz since he became Germany's new chancellor.

Biden tweeted that he spoke to Scholz to congratulate him on his appointment as German leader. "I look forward to working closely with him on the full range of global challenges, including transatlantic efforts to address Russia's destabilizing military build-up on the Ukraine border," he wrote.

The call with Scholz culminates an intense week of telephone diplomacy for Biden when Ukraine fears a Russian invasion.

On Tuesday, Biden held a video conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, warning him of severe economic sanctions if Russian troops deployed near the border launched an attack. He also said the United States could work with Russia to restart a diplomatic process. In addition, the American president communicated with the major European powers before and after the conversation with Putin. On Thursday, he spoke with the Ukrainian president and the leaders of nine allied countries in Eastern Europe.

Scholz received Germany's first post this week from her predecessor, Angela Merkel, who has led the country since 2005.

In a statement, the White House indicated that Scholz and Biden discussed a "wide range of global challenges," including "Russia's escalation of forces surrounding Ukraine," "the end of the covid-19 pandemic," and "how to counteract the threat of climate change."

Likewise, the US president reaffirmed his support for a "robust" relationship between Washington and Berlin and expressed his desire to "further strengthen this cooperative transatlantic relationship in the coming years."

Washington and Kiev believe Russia is preparing for an incursion into Ukraine, which could take place in early 2022. According to US and Ukrainian intelligence estimates, it has between 70,000 and 94,000 Russian troops stationed on its border with the neighboring country.

Scholz, who was in Paris this Friday, reiterated the need to guarantee Ukraine's invincibility in the face of the threat of a Russian invasion.

Angela Merkel's successor has also opted to continue negotiations in the so-called "Normandy format." Ukraine, Russia, France, and Germany tried to find a way out of the crisis in eastern Ukraine, controlled by pro-Russian separatists.