• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Blinken to meet Russia's Lavrov to defuse crisis

In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will try to defuse a crisis with Moscow over Ukraine when he meets with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva on Friday.

Blinken’s meeting will come on the heels of visits with Ukrainian leaders in Kyiv and European officials in Berlin.

With tens of thousands of Russian troops amassed in and near Ukraine…. And as Russian forces have moved into Belarus for joint military drills… the White House on Tuesday warned Russia could launch an invasion in Ukraine at any point.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki:

“Our view is this is an extremely dangerous situation. We're now at a stage where Russia could at any point launch an attack in Ukraine. And what Secretary Blinken is going to go do is highlight very clearly there is a diplomatic path forward. It is the choice of President Putin and the Russians to make whether they are going to suffer severe economic consequences or not.”

Blinken spoke with Lavrov on Tuesday and urged de-escalation, according to the State Department. A senior official said the pair decided it would be useful to meet in person.

Lavrov told reporters, Tuesday, that Moscow would welcome U.S. diplomatic efforts:

But Lavrov reiterated Russian accusations that Ukraine was "sabotaging" agreements aimed at ending the conflict between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Russia, which annexed the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine in 2014, has denied any plans for an attack.

But Russia says it could take unspecified military action unless its demands - including a promise by the NATO alliance never to admit Kyiv - are met.

U.S. talks with Russia ended in stalemate last week.

On Tuesday, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said the U.S. continues on the path of diplomacy with Russia, but is on alert should talks fail:

“Again, we see no signs of escalation. So we're going to continue to try to pursue the diplomatic path and as an administration, make sure that we're ready should that path fail and should there be another incursion of Russian forces into Ukraine”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting