Joe Biden said there was “a lot of diplomatic leeway” to resolve the Ukraine crisis, boosting hopes there is still time to negotiate to get Russia out of an aggression against its neighbor.

Speaking at the White House on Tuesday, the U.S. president said Russia had assembled some 150,000 troops on the Ukrainian border and remained “in a very dangerous position.” But Biden has sidestepped what some of his top officials have described in recent days as the sharpest warnings of an “immediate” attack.

“We should give diplomacy every chance of success,” Biden said in remarks Tuesday afternoon. “And I believe there are real solutions to our respective security issues.”

He said the U.S. had not verified whether Russian troops had “returned to their bases,” as Moscow had announced earlier in the day, fueling expectations that de-escalation was imminent.

Biden’s speech came amid another day of intense international diplomacy aimed at deterring potential Invasion.

three hours later talks In a conversation with German Chancellor Olaf Schultz, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow was withdrawing some troops from the border area in order to have a “dialogue” with the West, while still looming the threat of an invasion over its borders. above neighboring countries.

Putin said he was ready to negotiate with the West on a medium-sized nuclear missile force and confidence-building measures if the United States and NATO agreed to discuss Moscow’s grievances with the transatlantic alliance – including its pledge to never recognize Ukraine’s main demands.

Speaking with Putin, Schultz said diplomatic options “will never be exhausted.”

“We are now hearing that some troops are withdrawing, which is a good sign, and we hope that more troops will follow,” the German chancellor said.

Biden also said there is still room for compromise with Russia on Europe’s security architecture — even though the United States has rejected Moscow’s demands to abandon its open-door policy on NATO membership. But he hinted that there might be a formula acceptable to all countries involved.

“We will not sacrifice fundamentals. Nations have the right to sovereignty and territorial integrity and the freedom to chart their own course and choose whom they engage with,” Biden said. “But that still leaves a lot of room for diplomacy and de-escalation, which we think is the best way forward for all parties.”

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