On Tuesday, the U.S. State Department said the top diplomat of the U.S. President Joe Biden would seek to defuse a crisis with Russia over Ukraine when he meets his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Switzerland on Friday as the tensions between the two countries intensify over a possible invasion of Russia in Ukraine.
The State Department said Antony Blinken will travel on Wednesday to Kyiv, Ukraine, to meet with Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the President of Ukraine, move on to Germany and then meet the Russian Foreign Minister in Geneva on Friday. The hastily arranged visit aims to show American support for Ukraine and impress on Moscow the need for de-escalation.
I’m traveling to Kyiv and Berlin, where I will meet with our partners and allies, before meeting with my Russian counterpart in Geneva. This is a diplomatic effort to de-escalate tensions surrounding the unprovoked Russian military build-up on Ukraine’s borders. pic.twitter.com/dAP2nkrXfK
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) January 18, 2022
Jen Psaki, the White House spokesperson, underscored the urgency. Psaki said that they’re now at a stage where Moscow could at any point take aggressive action against Ukraine, and what Mr. Blinken is intending to mention very clearly, there’s a diplomatic pathway forward. Moreover, the White House Press Secretary said Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, created the crisis by deploying 0.1 million forces along the border with Ukraine. So now it’s up to Mr. Putin and the Russians to decide whether to invade Ukraine and then suffer severe economic costs.
Moscow Denied Planning Armed Offensive
America hasn’t concluded whether the Russian leader plans to invade or whether the “force show” is envisioned to crush security concessions without a definite conflict. Moscow has rebuffed calls to pull out its forces by saying it has a right to mass its troops wherever it esteems on its own territory. The U.S. State Secretary’s meetings follow unsettled diplomatic negotiations between Russia and the West recent week that failed to resolve sharp disagreements over Eastern European country and other security issues.
Mr. Blinken will make a trip due to growing concerns voiced by Ukraine and its Western allies and partners over thousands of Russian forces massed in and near the Ukrainian border. According to a senior US State Department official, America doesn’t want conflict; they want peace.
The official told the media that the Russian leader has it in his power to take steps to reduce this crisis so Russia and the U.S. can pursue a relationship that isn’t based on aggression. Moscow denies planning a new armed offensive but has made some demands and said it could take unspecified military operation unless the West reaches an agreement with them.
Furthermore, the State Department said that Antony Blinken would then move on to Germany to meet with Annalena Baerbock, Germany’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, to discuss recent diplomatic engagements with Moscow and combined efforts to prevent further Russian aggression against Ukraine. The increased Russian military presence along the eastern border of Ukraine has raised worries Russia is planning a military operation against the former Soviet Republic, which was once part of the Soviet Union.