Blinken accepts invite to meet with Russian counterpart

The State Department announced on Thursday that Secretary of State Antony Blinken has accepted an invitation to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Blinken proposed the meeting with Lavrov, and Russia gave dates for late next week, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said. 

The meeting will take place in Europe, “provided there is no further Russian invasion of Ukraine,” Price said.

“If they do invade in the coming days, it will make clear they were never serious about diplomacy,” he added. 

This comes amid warnings from U.S. officials that a Russian invasion of Ukraine may be imminent, as Moscow has amassed an estimated 150,000 troops near Ukraine’s borders. Russia has repeatedly denied any intentions of invading.

Blinken said he had asked Lavrov to meet in Europe next week earlier on Thursday while addressing the United Nations Security Council.

In his remarks, Blinken also detailed actions the U.S. believes Russia may take to manufacture a crisis and justify invading Ukraine, saying Russia could create a fabricated so-called terrorist bombing inside Russia, invented discovery of a mass grave, a staged drone strike against civilians, or a fake, even a real attack using chemical weapons” as a “pretext for its attack.”

Tags Antony Blinken Russia Russia-Ukraine conflict Sergei Lavrov Ukraine

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