After talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced that Russia must choose between diplomacy and conflict, indicating that his country is ready for both scenarios.
Blinken: I had frank and substantive talks with Lavrov and we are sticking to diplomacy
Blinken said, during a press conference held after the meeting in Geneva today, Friday, that he had “frank and substantive talks with Lavrov,” noting: “I explained a number of ideas for reducing tension and enhancing security, which we developed during consultations with our allies and partners. We believe that we can reach to a common position based on the principle of reciprocal steps.
“We did not expect to achieve any tangible breakthroughs today, but I am convinced that we are now taking a clear path in terms of understanding common concerns,” he said.
“We are all equally adherent to the path of diplomacy and dialogue to try to resolve our differences. But we pledge, if this turns out to be impossible and if Russia continues its aggression against Ukraine, to respond unified, swiftly and firmly,” he added.
Blinken: We are ready to work on addressing Russia’s concerns, but in the spirit of reciprocity
“I reiterated to Minister Lavrov regarding the security concerns raised by Russia in recent weeks the readiness of the United States and our European allies and partners to work on possible ways to solve them in a spirit of reciprocity, which means that Russia must also respond to the concerns that We feel it.”
He reiterated that the United States and Russia can work to address common concerns in a number of areas, including arms control.
Blinken: Russia must stop aggression against Ukraine and choose between diplomacy and conflict
And Blinken added: “Based on our talks, I believe that we can continue this joint work to establish agreements on understanding that will ensure our mutual security. But this matter depends on Russia stopping its aggression towards Ukraine.”
“This is the choice that Russia must make,” Blinken stressed. “You can choose the path of diplomacy that leads to peace and security, or the path that will only lead to conflict, grave consequences, and international condemnation. The United States, with its allies and partners in Europe, is ready to both the two options.”
Blinken: We will not abandon NATO’s open doors policy
The US Secretary of State stated that he assured his Russian counterpart of the US’s determination not to abandon its “original principles, including the NATO Open Doors policy,” adding: “This includes issues related to limiting the sovereign right of the Ukrainian people to determine their own destiny. There can be no No bargaining in this area.
“I directly assured Minister Lavrov of our concrete concern over Russia’s behavior and the challenges arising from it in the areas of peace and security, not only towards Ukraine, but also in Europe and the whole world,” he said.
Blinken: Any crossing of the Russian border into Ukraine will be considered an invasion, and we will respond swiftly and firmly
He went on to say: “We have heard the statements of Russian officials that they have no intention of invading Ukraine. And Lavrov renewed this matter to me today. But we proceed from the things that are clear to everyone, namely actions and behavior. I suggested to Lavrov, and this is what we have said repeatedly, that if Russia wants to start convincing the world that it is Do not pursue any aggressive intentions towards Ukraine, it would be very good to launch the de-escalation process by withdrawing forces from the border with Ukraine and participating in diplomacy and dialogue, which we did today and what we plan to continue to do in the coming days and weeks.
“I am saying clearly that any crossing of the border of Ukraine by Russian forces will be considered an invasion. This will be met with a swift, firm and united response by the United States and its allies and partners,” he continued.
Blinken: We will hand Russia our response to its proposals in writing next week and are ready for contacts between the two presidents
Blinken stated that the United States will hand over to Russia “after consultations with allies and partners” a written document that reflects in detail American concerns and ideas in the field of security and Washington’s response to Moscow’s proposals, and indicated that this is expected to happen next week, adding: “We agreed to continue discussions afterwards.
Blinken explained that the upcoming talks will take place at the current stage at the level of the two ministers, but indicated the United States’ readiness for new contacts between the two countries’ presidents “if that is useful and fruitful.”