Biden assures Ukraine’s leader of US support to deter Russia

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden reached out to Ukraine’s leader Thursday as the United States moved to take a more direct role in diplomacy between that country and Russia, part of a broader effort to dissuade Russia from a destabilizing invasion of its western neighbor.

But any negotiations to peacefully resolve Europe’s tangled East-West rivalries will present minefields for the U.S. president.

Biden made his offer of American diplomacy during a two-hour online session with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday. Biden proposed joining the Europeans in negotiations not just to settle the conflict in eastern Ukraine but to address Putin’s larger strategic objections to NATO expanding its membership and building military capacity ever closer to Russia’s borders.