- US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken plans to hold a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Geneva on Friday in light of the high tensions in the Ukraine conflict.
- The goal is to continue diplomatic talks and get Russia to take immediate steps to de-escalate, according to the US State Department.
Blinken previously spoke with Lavrov on the phone. “As part of this conversation, the two decided it would make sense to meet face to face,” she said. The US State Department said the meeting with Lavrov is an opportunity for the United States to see where there is an opportunity for Moscow and Washington to find common ground. “Diplomacy is not dead,” the State Department official said.
It continues to work closely with its allies to ensure that there will be “serious consequences” if Russia decides to continue its military aggression against Ukraine. “We are now at a point where Russia can launch an attack on Ukraine at any time,” the official warned.
Blinkin will meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in Kiev on Wednesday. On Thursday, Blinken will travel to Berlin, where he wants to meet German Foreign Minister Annallina Barbock and others.
Previous negotiations were unsuccessful
Negotiations between the United States and Russia in the NATO-Russia Council and within the framework of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) last week remained largely unsuccessful.
However, NATO proposed to conduct new crisis talks on Russia. According to Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, an invitation has been sent for a series of NATO-Russia Council meetings. Speaking at a press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin, the Norwegian said that the allies are ready to put concrete proposals on the table.
According to him, there could be talks about reducing risks in military activities, more transparency and improving communication channels. He also mentioned arms control, disarmament and conflict in Ukraine as other topics.
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