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By Humeyra Pamuk
RABAT (Reuters) - Washington has not seen "signs of real seriousness" from Russia in pursuing peace after its invasion of Ukraine, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday, even as talks between Russian and Ukrainian officials in Turkey sparked hopes of progress toward ending the war.
Ukraine has proposed adopting neutral status in the most detailed formula yet for a potential settlement to the five-week conflict and Russia said it would reduce military activity on a northern front near Ukraine's capital Kyiv to create conditions for a possible agreement.
Blinken said it was up to Ukraine to characterize whether there was real progress in the talks, but added the United States was focused on Russia's actions, not its words.
"What Russia is doing is the continued brutalization of Ukraine and its people, and that continues as we speak," Blinken told reporters during a visit to Morocco, calling on Moscow to end its aggression now and pull its forces back.
Russia calls its mission a "special operation" to disarm and "denazify" Ukraine. The West says it launched an unprovoked invasion.
Washington was willing to pursue an outcome to the talks that involved U.S. support for Ukraine's "defense and security," Blinken added.
"I have not seen anything that suggests that this is moving forward in an effective way... At least we’ve not seen signs of real seriousness, but if Ukraine concludes that there is, that's good and we support that," Blinken said.
(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, writing by Angus McDowall and Simon Lewis, Editing by Catherine Evans and Chizu Nomiyama)