Blinken to Meet With Russia as U.S. Pushes For More Diplomacy on Ukraine

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Politics|Blinken Will Meet With Russia arsenic U.S. Pushes for More Diplomacy

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken volition conscionable with Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov of Russia successful Geneva connected Friday arsenic the United States warns that Russia could soon onslaught Ukraine.

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken’s ngo  is portion  of a U.S. scramble to caput  disconnected  a imaginable   Russian battle  connected  Ukraine.
Credit...Pool photograph by Andrew Harnik

Michael CrowleyAnton Troianovski

Jan. 18, 2022, 1:15 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken volition conscionable with Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov of Russia connected Friday successful Geneva, a motion that the 2 sides are consenting to proceed discussions connected what the Biden medication called “an highly unsafe situation.”

Mr. Blinken is scheduled to depart connected Tuesday for Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, wherever helium volition conscionable with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine successful a amusement of American enactment connected the brink of what U.S. officials fearfulness is an imminent Russian invasion.

Mr. Blinken volition travel that sojourn with stops successful Berlin connected Thursday earlier gathering with Mr. Lavrov, a elder State Department authoritative said connected Tuesday.

Mr. Blinken’s ngo is portion of a U.S. scramble to caput disconnected a imaginable Russian battle connected Ukraine. A elder State Department authoritative warned connected Tuesday that Russia — which has assembled arsenic galore arsenic 100,000 troops on Ukraine’s eastbound borders — could motorboat an onslaught astatine immoderate time.

Jen Psaki, the White House property secretary, said successful a quality briefing connected Tuesday that Mr. Blinken would “urge Russia to instrumentality contiguous steps to de-escalate.”

“We’re present astatine a signifier wherever Russia could astatine immoderate constituent privation an onslaught successful Ukraine,” she said, “and what Secretary Blinken is going to spell bash is item precise intelligibly determination is simply a diplomatic way forward.”

The whirlwind week of diplomacy comes aft a bid of 3 negotiating sessions betwixt Russia and the West past week failed to supply a breakthrough. Russia has demanded a warrant that NATO volition not grow eastward, a petition that the United States and Western Europe person rejected.

A elder Russian diplomat warned past Thursday that the talks were reaching a “dead end.” The Kremlin signaled it could garbage to prosecute successful further negotiations and alternatively instrumentality unspecified “military-technical” measures to guarantee its security, insisting Russia would not let the West to bog it down successful long-running negotiations.

That Mr. Lavrov volition question to Geneva to conscionable with Mr. Blinken connected Friday indicates that Russia is prepared for astatine slightest 1 much circular of diplomacy. The 2 spoke by telephone connected Tuesday earlier Mr. Blinken’s departure for Kyiv. In the call, Mr. Lavrov rejected the thought that Russia was readying to onslaught Ukraine and insisted that it was up to Kyiv to calm tensions, according to a statement of the telephone published by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

“The curate urged the caput of authorities not to replicate speculation astir allegedly impending ‘Russian aggression,’” the Foreign Ministry said.

Understand the Escalating Tensions Over Ukraine

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The State Department has not described Mr. Blinken’s docket for the gathering with his long-serving Russian counterpart. Russian officials person said that they are expecting a written American effect to demands that Russia made weeks agone astir NATO’s presence successful Eastern Europe. The Russian Foreign Ministry said Mr. Lavrov told Mr. Blinken successful Tuesday’s telephone telephone that Moscow was expecting an “article-by-article” comments from the United States connected Russia’s proposals.

The State Department authoritative would not accidental whether Mr. Blinken would supply specified a response, and said it remained unclear whether Moscow was superior astir uncovering a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

Mr. Blinken volition conscionable successful Berlin with German officials, arsenic good arsenic British and French diplomats arsenic the United States and Europe enactment to coordinate terrible economical sanctions to punish immoderate Russian incursion into Eastern Ukraine, wherever Moscow has been supporting a separatist insurgency for years.

“There’s a diplomatic way forward,” Ms. Psaki said, adding: “It is up to the Russians to find which way they’re going to take, and the consequences volition beryllium terrible if they don’t instrumentality the diplomatic path.”

Michael Crowley reported from Washington, and Anton Troianovski from Moscow.

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