State Dept. Chief Blinken: Russia should withdraw troops from Ukraine border According to Secretary of State, Russia has amassed 100,000 troops on Ukraine's borders and should start by withdrawing troops to convince the world there are no plans to “invade”
< /p> Anthony Blinken and Sergey Lavrov
Russia should start by withdrawing its troops from the borders of Ukraine if it wants to convince the whole world that there are no aggressive plans. This was announced following talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov by US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, broadcast by RBC.
According to him, Russia has concentrated more than 100,000 troops on the border with Ukraine and deployed forces to Belarus, which gives Moscow the opportunity to attack Ukraine from the south, east and north. “If Russia wants to convince the world that there are no aggressive plans towards Ukraine, it should start by de-escalating and withdrawing its troops from the borders,” — Blinken pointed out.
The Secretary of State noted that the negotiations with Lavrov were frank, but the US position on Ukraine remains unchanged. “I conveyed the position of the United States and our European allies and partners that we strongly support Ukraine, its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” — he pointed out.
At the same time, Lavrov, following the results of the negotiations, said that Russia had never voiced threats against the Ukrainian people. “Russia has never, nowhere, never threatened the Ukrainian people through the mouths of its official representatives,” — pointed out by the minister.
Lavrov and Blinken's talks on Russian proposals for security guarantees took place in Geneva and lasted 1.5 hours. Prior to the meeting, Lavrov said he did not expect any breakthroughs from the conversation, but Moscow intends to get US responses to security initiatives. Blinken, in turn, pointed to Washington's desire to peacefully resolve emerging problems in relations with Moscow.
In December 2021, the Russian Foreign Ministry sent the United States and NATO draft agreements on security guarantees, in which they proposed the alliance to consolidate the non-expansion of the alliance to the east, in particular at the expense of the countries of the former USSR, and also to abandon the deployment of weapons in countries adjacent to Russia. After that, on January 9 and 10, negotiations between Russia and the United States were held in Geneva, on January 12, the documents were discussed within the framework of the Council of Russia— NATO in Brussels. After that, the third round of negotiations took place along the line of Russia— OSCE on the same topic. As a result, the parties did not achieve concrete results, but agreed to continue the dialogue.
Russia demanded security guarantees after another escalation in eastern Ukraine last fall. Then a number of Western media, including The Washington Post and Potitico, reported on the accumulation of Russian troops on the borders of Ukraine. After that, about the “Russian invasion” Ukrainian and Western politicians started talking. The Kremlin denied such intentions and repeatedly emphasized that Russia is moving military equipment across its territory, which it has every right to do.
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