Blinken to travel to Ukraine and Germany this week

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The tete-a-tete with Lavrov will comply with the highest US diplomat’s travel this week to Ukraine and Germany to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his overseas counterparts.

This would be the first high-level assembly between Russia and the United States because the diplomatic engagements final week, which failed to ship breakthroughs on the scenario at Ukraine’s border the place Russia has amassed tens of 1000’s of troops.

The two overseas ministers spoke by telephone on Tuesday, and the senior US official stated it was “in the context of that conversation” that they agreed to meet in individual.

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The incontrovertible fact that Blinken and Lavrov will meet on Friday “suggests that perhaps diplomacy is not dead,” the official stated.

The official stated the 2 sides needed to see if there are alternatives for “common ground.”
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During Tuesday’s name, Blinken and Lavrov spoke about final week’s diplomatic engagements and “stressed the importance of continuing a diplomatic path to de-escalate tensions surrounding the deeply troubling Russian military build-up in and near Ukraine,” State Department spokesman Ned Price stated Tuesday in a readout of the decision.

In Kyiv, Blinken will meet with Zelensky and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba “to reinforce the United States’ commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Price additionally introduced Tuesday.

In Berlin, Blinken will “discuss recent diplomatic engagements with Russia and joint efforts to deter further Russian aggression against Ukraine, including Allies’ and partners’ readiness to impose massive consequences and severe economic costs on Russia.”

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Blinken will meet with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, adopted by a gathering with the Transatlantic Quad, which additionally contains the UK and France, in accordance to Price.

Blinken’s go to follows final week’s diplomatic talks between the West and Russian officers that ended with out a dedication from Russia that it will deescalate and pull again the tens of 1000’s of troops it amassed on the Ukrainian border, main a senior US official to warn that the “drumbeat of war was sounding loud.”

Following final week’s diplomatic engagements, a big rift remained between Washington and Moscow over Russia’s key calls for, which the US and its NATO allies have deemed as non-starters.

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Blinken is “150% committed to seeing if there is a diplomatic offramp here” and that’s the impetus for this engagement, the senior State Department official stated. It continues to be too early to inform if Russia is ready to negotiate in good religion, the official added.

It stays unclear if the US will reply to Russia’s proposal final week with a written response, which Russia has demanded. When requested about that the official solely stated that the US stays ready to have interaction with Russia on “on security issues and meaningful dialogue.”

Meanwhile, the US has been assuring Ukraine of its dedication to the nation amid new warning indicators and US intelligence that counsel Russia is making ready a Ukraine invasion.

The US has data indicating Russia has prepositioned a gaggle of operatives to conduct a false-flag operation in jap Ukraine in an try to create a pretext for an invasion, which CNN first reported and the White House later confirmed. These operatives are “trained in urban warfare and in using explosives to carry out acts of sabotage against Russia’s own proxy forces,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki stated Friday.
Russia has additionally begun evacuating its embassy within the Ukrainian capital, which might doubtlessly be preparation for a looming battle, The New York Times reported. Russia has denied the report and stated the embassy is working as ordinary.
Blinken would be the newest US official to go to with Zelensky, after CIA Director Bill Burns met with the Ukrainian chief final week and a delegation of US senators met with Zelensky on Monday.

This story has been up to date.

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