Stockholm. Meeting of the chiefs of diplomacy of the USA and Russia, Antony Blinken and Sergey Lavrov

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held a “serious, sober and matter-of-fact meeting” in Stockholm, said a senior US official, quoted by the Reuters Agency. During the conversation, he said, “Blinken conveyed to the Russian Washington’s desire to avoid a conflict with Russia over Ukraine.”

An American official, quoted by Reuters, said Blinken also warned Lavrov that Moscow would face sanctions in the event of an invasion (in Ukraine). The official said that “there was no concrete breakthrough in talks aimed at easing tensions between the West and Russia over the deployment of troops on Ukraine’s borders, but both sides agreed to continue the dialogue on Ukraine.”

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The Reuters Agency also reported that Blinken met Lavrov “face to face” to personally warn him of the “serious consequences” Russia would suffer if it invaded Ukraine. The head of US diplomacy also called on Lavrov to “diplomatically emerge” from the crisis.

Antony Blinken and Sergey Lavrov RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY PRESS / PAP / EPA

Blinken issued a warning to the Russian minister the day after the White House announced that Washington was ready to act decisively, including through sanctions, in the event of a possible Russian attack on Ukraine. Before meeting Lavrov, Blinken assured journalists that “the best way to avoid a crisis is diplomacy.” “I look forward to discussing this with Sergei,” he said.

Blinken also emphasized in an interview with media representatives that Russia and Ukraine should fully implement their commitments as part of the peace process concluded in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, which was to end the war between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian government forces in Donbas.

The secretary of state added that Washington was willing to facilitate this, but if Russia decides to confront it there will be “serious consequences”.

Blinken press conference after meeting with Lavrov Erik Simander / PAP / EPA

Blinken: Ukraine is not a threat

During the press conference on Thursday after the meeting with Lavrov, Blinken said that Ukraine “in no way poses a threat or seeks a confrontation that would justify Russian military intervention.” As he stressed, “Russia now needs to ease the tension.”

The secretary of state also said that the United States is prepared to cooperate with Russia and Ukraine to support the resolution of the diplomatic process. He added that US and Russian presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin “may be able to talk face-to-face in the near future.”

The issue of Biden’s meeting with Putin

Lavrov’s deputy, Sergei Ryabkov, when asked on Thursday by journalists when the Russian-American summit could be held, replied: – We hope that the two presidents will be in contact in the coming days.

The only meeting so far between Biden and Putin was held in Geneva in mid-June. Ryabkov emphasized that the date of the meeting has not yet been set, as it is difficult to find a common date in the calendars of both presidents. However, he stressed that “contact is very necessary because we have multiplying problems”. – There is no progress in bilateral issues, which are increasingly entering the phase of acute crisis, there is no mutual understanding of how to de-escalate the situation in Europe. And there are other things, too, he explained.

– The only area where our relations are improving is the START system, within which normal work begins. But presidents need to give us and their teams a boost to go further on other issues. The situation in Europe is very worrying, said Ryabkov. The deputy head of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the US administration is “watching closely what Russia is doing” in the context of the tense situation around Ukraine and the escalation of the migration crisis in Eastern Europe, so a stabilization of relations between Moscow and Washington is needed.

Main photo source: RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY PRESS / PAP / EPA

About Banner Leon

Videogames entered his life in the late '80s, at the time of the first meeting with Super Mario Bros, and even today they make it a permanent part, after almost 30 years. Pros and defects: he manages to finish Super Mario Bros in less than 5 minutes but he has never finished Final Fight with a credit ... he's still trying.

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