However, senior Russian and American diplomats decided to continue their discussions in an attempt to settle a crisis that has fueled fears of armed confrontation on Friday, despite the fact that no substantial progress was achieved.
When Russian forces massed near the Ukrainian border, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned of a “rapid, punishing” reaction if Russia invaded Ukraine. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow was still awaiting a response to its requests for security assurances in writing.
When Blinken asked whether there was any prospect of resolving their shared security concerns, both answered there were.
There are “grounds for and a way to address some of the shared concerns that we have about security,” Blinken added, citing the “intensive talks” they had over the last week and today in Geneva.
Russian President Vladimir Putin called the discussions “frank and substantial,” and he said Russia has a decision to make.
It has two options: diplomacy, which may lead to peace and security, or violence, catastrophic repercussions, and worldwide condemnation. Diplomacy is preferred, Blinken said, adding that diplomacy is the better option.
“Any movement of Russian military troops beyond Ukraine’s border constitutes an invasion, and we’ve made that plain. The United States and its allies will respond swiftly, severely, and unitedly.”
Lavrov said that Washington now had the initiative.
According to him, Moscow would know whether discussions are moving in the right direction once it receives a formal answer from the United States to its broad security requests.
As part of Russia’s demands, the alliance must put an end to its eastward expansion and guarantee that Ukraine would never be permitted to join the Western military alliance at any point.
“I don’t know whether we’re heading in the right direction or the wrong direction. We’ll know more about this when we get a written answer from the United States addressing each of the concerns we raised in our submission “Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated this.
As political analyst Tatiana Stanovaya noted on Telegram, “This is partially a trap, of course, since any such written answer would be used to undermine the United States’ negotiation stance.”
“Our concerns and views will be shared in greater depth and in writing with Russia next week,” Blinken said, adding that he and Lavrov had “agreed to additional negotiations after that.” Blinken added.
According to Russia’s RIA news agency, a member of the Russian delegation said that the two countries may meet again next month to discuss Moscow’s requests for security assurances.
Keep our heads in the game, will we?
Russia, according to Lavrov, has concerns of its own, “not about manufactured threats, but concrete realities that no one conceals – filling Ukraine with weaponry, deploying hundreds of western military instructors.” Lavrov.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was reticent when asked about the likelihood of a meeting between Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden.
The Russian president added, “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, President Putin is always ready for discussions with President Biden, but it is evident that these contacts need to be thoroughly planned.”
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“If we and the Russians feel that the best way to address matters is via a further dialogue between them, we’re definitely prepared to do that,” Blinken said of another possible meeting between Biden and Putin.
June of last year saw a meeting between the two leaders in Geneva.
Biden’s remarks at a press conference on Wednesday that allies may be split on how to react to a “small incursion” by Russia into Ukraine have hampered Washington’s efforts to form a unified front against Moscow.
“If any, any assembled Russian forces walk over the Ukrainian border, then that is an invasion,” President Biden said Thursday in a statement. Read more
Earlier this week, Blinken toured Europe in an attempt to reassure U.S. allies that if Russia invades Ukraine, the United States would impose economic penalties.
On Wednesday, Blinken reassured Ukraine that the United States will continue to stand with it. Prior to his Thursday meeting in Berlin with representatives from Germany, France, and the United Kingdom, Blinken stated Putin may command an invasion at any time.
In Geneva last week, Blinken’s deputy, Wendy Sherman, met with Lavrov’s deputy, Sergei Ryabkov.