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U.S. President Joe Biden has invited his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky to Washington because he “really believes” that the war in Ukraine has reached “a new phase,” a top U.S. official told CNN on Dec. 21.
"The President really believes that as we approach winter, as we enter... a new phase in this war, Mr. Putin's aggression, that this is a good time for the two leaders to sit down face-to-face and talk,” John Kirby, the strategic communications coordinator for the National Security Council, said on live television.
While the first in-person Biden-Zelensky talks since 2021 are expected to focus on further U.S. military and economic support, as well as Russia sanctions, Kirby said that the two would also discuss how the war could come to an end.
Kirby did not elaborate further but acknowledged that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “obviously not interested in diplomacy right now.”
Biden-Zelensky talks are set to begin at 9:30 p.m. Kyiv time, and their news conference is scheduled 2.5 hours later.