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Blinken: US, Russia won’t see any breakthroughs ‘in the coming week’

Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrives for a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on September 14, 2021. Blinken was questioned about the Biden administration's handling of the U.S. withdraw from Afghanistan.
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Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday said he does not think the U.S. and Russia will see any breakthroughs “in the coming week,” which is when representatives from Washington and Moscow are scheduled to sit for talks amid rising tensions centered on Ukraine.

“I don’t think we’re gonna see any, any breakthroughs in the coming, in the coming week,” Blinken told co-anchor Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“We’re going to be able to put things on the table, the Russians will do the same, both directly with us at NATO at the [Organization for Security and Cooperation] and we’ll see if they’re grounds for moving forward,” he added.

The prediction comes one day before officials from the U.S. and Russia are set to meet in Geneva for talks amid rising tensions. Russia has amassed a large number of troops on the Ukrainian border, which has caused worries among some countries that Moscow is looking to invade.

Russia, however, has denied having any such plans.

The two countries are also set to participate in a NATO-Russian Council meeting in Brussels on Wednesday and talk at the Organization for Security Cooperation in Vienna on Thursday.

Blinken on Sunday reiterated that the U.S.pulling some troops out of Eastern Europe and ruling out expanding NATO to include Ukraine are both off the negotiating table.

Asked by Tapper if the U.S. has ruled out moving heavy U.S. weaponry out of Poland and moving it further west, moving missiles or limiting the scope of U.S. military exercises, Blinken did not directly respond.

The secretary of state did, however, assert that there will be “confrontation and massive consequences for Russia” if it renews aggression against Ukraine.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov earlier on Sunday said it is possible that the talks between the U.S. and Russia break down quickly. He specifically said conversations could end after the first meeting.

Tags Antony Blinken Jake Tapper

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