Jake Sullivan, the White House’s national security adviser, spoke to the Russian Security Council Wednesday and reiterated the United States’ disapproval of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
It’s the first public disclosure of a high-ranking call between American and Russian officials since Moscow’s attack on Ukraine started late last month.
On Tuesday, the Russian government sanctioned many Biden administration officials, including President Biden himself.
What is the United States official saying?
“The United States will continue to impose costs on Russia, defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and reinforce NATO’s eastern flank,” Sullivan told Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Russian Security Council, according to the White House.
According to the White House, “General Patrushev was told that if Russia is serious about diplomacy, it should stop attacking Ukrainian cities and towns. He was also warned about the consequences and implications of any possible Russian use of chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine.”
Volodymyr Zelensky Virtual Address to Congress
During a virtual address to Congress Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pleaded for more assistance from the U.S., including establishing a no-fly zone over the country. He told Biden he had to “be the world’s leader.”
Biden has been adamantly opposed to a no-fly zone over Ukraine, believing it would force NATO troops into direct combat with Russian forces and spark a large conflict.
As the conflict entered its third week, Zelensky said peace talks between Ukraine and Russia began to “sound more realistic.” However, he stressed that “patience is needed.”
Biden will travel to Brussels next week to discuss the conflict between Russia and Ukraine with the European Council.