‘No talks with Joe Biden needed’: Vladimir Putin

New Delhi: Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the CICA event in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. It was the sixth CICA event. After attending the summit, Putin spoke to reporters on various topics, including NATO, Joe Biden, and whether he is willing to participate in the G20 summit or not. The Russian president said he saw “no need” for talks with US President Joe Biden. He added that he has not yet made a decision on attending a group of 20 summits next month in Bali, Indonesia, and a direct clash of NATO forces with Russia would lead to a “global catastrophe”. President Putin says he expects a call from army reservists he has ordered to replenish his country’s troops in Ukraine to reach the target number of recruits within two weeks, enabling him to end the hugely unpopular call. After a summit in Kazakhstan, he announced that 222,000 of the 300,000 reservists targeted had been mobilized. According to him, 33,000 of them are already in military units and 16,000 are engaged in combat.

The appeal, which Putin announced in September when his troops lost occupied territory to a Ukrainian counter-offensive, sparked public outcry in Russia, where nearly all men under the age of 65 are registered as reservists. At the same time, Russian nationalists have criticized the Kremlin’s handling of the war, putting more pressure on Putin to do more to turn the tide in Russia’s favour. Despite Putin and other top officials claiming the mobilization would affect 300,000 people, the presidential decree approving the draft did not state a figure.

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According to Russian media reports, the actual number could reach 1.2 million reservists. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said a secret clause of the decree included the number of people the authorities plan to mobilize.

(With input from agencies)

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