Blinken accepts invitation to meet Lavrov late next week if Russia does not invade Ukraine

WASHINGTON: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has proposed dates for holding a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, late next week, who accepted it if Russia does not invade Ukraine, local media reported.

Taking to Twitter, State Department’s Spokesperson Ned Price said that the Russians have responded with proposed dates for late next week, which we are accepting, provided there is no further Russian invasion of Ukraine.
He stated that if Russia does invade in the coming days, it will make clear they were never serious about diplomacy.

“We will continue to coordinate with our Allies and partners and push for further engagements with Russia through the @NATO-Russia Council and @OSCE.”, he added.

US Secretary of State, noted in his remarks at the United Nations Security Council earlier today that, because the US believes the only responsible way to resolve this crisis is through diplomacy and dialogue, he had proposed to meet Foreign Minister Lavrov in Europe next week, as per Price.

Tensions over Ukraine have increased in recent months, with Russia and NATO accusing each other of amassing troops on the Russian-Ukrainian border.

The United States and Ukraine accuse Russia of preparing to invade. Meanwhile, Moscow denies the claims and maintains that it has no intention of attacking any country.

The conflict in Donbas between Ukraine’s government and the breakaway of Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics has been going on since 2014. The Minsk Agreements, designed to find a political resolution to the conflict, was negotiated by the leaders of France, Germany, Russia, and Ukraine — the Normandy group — in February 2015. However, the agreement has so far not been observed and sporadic clashes continue. (ANI)