The United States will respond in writing to Russia’s demands next week

After forming a common front in Europe against Russia, Anthony Blinken, Secretary of State of the United States, ends his trip to the continent in Geneva, where he meets Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

According to the head of Russian diplomacy, it was a “professional meeting” in which Blinkin was satisfied with the exchange of positions. The foreign minister told his Russian counterpart that Washington would respond in writing to Russia’s demands next week.. On the other hand, Blinkin once again emphasized the deployment of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border and demanded de-escalation from Moscow.

Russia has sent 100,000 soldiers to the borders of Ukraine. “If Putin wants, he can attack Ukraine from the south, east and north,” the diplomat warned. If this happens, Blinken stressed that his country was committed to a “united, rapid and serious response.”. “We are at a critical moment,” he warned.

AP / MARTIAL TREZZINI – US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, left, during a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva

In addition, taking advantage of the meeting in Geneva, The American diplomat demanded that Moscow release two American citizens detained in Russia. One, Paul Whelan, was charged with espionage and sentenced to 16 years in prison; While Trevor Reid is serving a 9-year prison sentence for “endangering the lives of two drunk policemen in Moscow,” according to Reuters.

For his part, Lavrov accused the West of “propagating hysteria” about the situation in Eastern Europe, in addition to stressing that Russia ‘has no plans to attack Ukraine’. This “hysteria”, in the words of the Russian minister, “seeks to sabotage the Minsk agreements.”

Since Blinken noted the presence of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border, Lavrov also alluded to NATO’s military operations on the continent. He also stated that the current goal of NATO is to act against Russia and “Encouraging fear of Russia”. In this sense, Lavrov emphasized that NATO was “fueling anti-Russian extremism” in places like Poland or the Baltic states. “It is the anti-Russian minority that leads, not only NATO, but also the European Union,” the Russian diplomat stressed.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, right, and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, left, attend a meeting with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken AP/MARTIAL TREZZINI
AP / MARTIAL TREZZINI – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (right) and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov (left) attend a meeting with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.

The Russian Minister also hinted that US arms supply to Ukraine during the press conference. He concluded that “NATO considers Ukraine a sphere of influence.”

Despite efforts to ease tensions, the two diplomats expressed skepticism ahead of the summit.

“We do not expect progress from the meeting with Blinkin, we expect answers,” Russian media quoted Lavrov as saying before the meeting. The Russian minister insisted again on the security demands made by Moscow a few weeks ago. Among these requests is the withdrawal of NATO forces from all of Russia’s neighbors. The Russian government demanded that the alliance stop expanding towards its borders.

In the event that NATO does not respond to these requests, Moscow “cannot confirm or exclude the possibility of establishing a military infrastructure in Cuba and Venezuela,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov noted on Russian television. Both countries are located in Washington’s sphere of influence, the so-called “backyard” of the United States.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov walk to their seats before their meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.
Photograph: Alex Brandon/Reuters — US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov walk to their seats before their meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

The expansion of NATO in the East has also been one of the notable events of recent times Summit between NATO and Russia. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko stressed to his American counterparts that “the freedom to choose ways to ensure the security of the individual must not be implemented in a way that infringes on the legitimate security interests of others.”

Blinken, like his Russian counterpart, said before the meeting that he did not expect differences to be resolved, although he stressed that the meeting would be “part of efforts to de-escalate tensions”. NATO, at the moment, rejects the Russian demands, arguing that No foreign country has the right to decide who can join the Alliance.

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