US president Joe Biden was ridiculed by Jeremy Vine after forgetting to turn off mute at the start of his videoconference with Russia president Vladimir Putin, who is mulling over sending Russian troops to Ukraine, on Tuesday. Both presidents decided to hold a virtual summit to clear the air and defuse the tension after an estimated 100,000 Russian troops have massed around Ukrainian borders. But Mr Vine appeared to deride Mr Biden on his programme for his struggles to come to terms with modern technology.
After greeting Mr Biden in the White House, the penny quickly dropped with Mr Putin that his American counterpart had forgotten to turn off mute.
After an embarrassing moment, Mr Biden then managed to do just that but it took him a couple of seconds.
He raised his hands and awkwardly saluted Putin, who was sitting 4,900 miles away in Moscow, with a “There we go. Hello. Good to see you again”.
Mr Vine then questioned the unconventional nature of a call between two men who may not even look at each other if they were in the same room.
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During the conversation Biden told his opposite number that, unlike in 2014 when Russia occupied Crimea, this time the United States will not turn a blind eye to it.
And instead use a tough economic approach in case Russia decide to invade Ukraine again.
He also warned Russia that the USA and Europe will ally to impose severe punitive actions and financial penalties on Russia should they set their foot where they should not, in the Ukraine.
National security adviser Jake Sullivan was quoted as saying to reporters that “Things we did not do in 2014 we are prepared to do now”.