US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday that the Russia-Ukraine crisis could be “peacefully” resolved, according to the State Department.
During a telephone call, Blinken reiterated the US commitment to “continue to pursue a diplomatic solution to the crisis Moscow has precipitated.”
“He underscored that, while further Russian aggression against Ukraine would result in a swift, severe, and united Transatlantic response, we remain committed to the diplomatic path and believe that a window remains to resolve the crisis peacefully,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.
Blinken also said Washington “looks forward to receiving Russia’s written response to the US and NATO papers shared with Moscow last month proposing concrete areas for discussion regarding European security in coordination with our Allies and partners.”
“He noted the Foreign Minister’s statement that it would be transmitted within the coming days.
“Secretary Blinken reiterated our ongoing concerns that Russia has the capacity to launch an invasion of Ukraine at any moment and emphasized the need to see verifiable, credible, meaningful de-escalation,” said Price.
The discussion came hours after reports surfaced that Moscow said some troops are pulling back from Ukraine’s border.
US President Joe Biden is scheduled to give remarks on the crisis from the East Room of the White House at 3.30 p.m. local time.
Moscow, according to Ukrainian officials and NATO, has recently amassed more than 100,000 troops near Ukraine, prompting fears that the Kremlin could be planning a military offensive against its ex-Soviet neighbor.
Russia has denied it is preparing to invade and accused Western countries of undermining its security through NATO’s expansion toward its borders.
Russia also issued a list of security demands to the West, including a rollback of troop deployments from some ex-Soviet states, and guarantees that some of those states would not join NATO.
In a written response to the demands, Washington said it is committed to upholding NATO’s “open door policy,” while NATO also conveyed the alliance’s reply “in parallel with the United States.”
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