Blinken casts doubt on Russia-Ukraine optimism
The US Secretary of State decides to cast doubt on hopes that a deal was reached between Russia and Ukraine.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Russia may be intending to "deflect and deceive" through its "pullbacks" in Kiev and Chernihiv.
Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin had told reporters that "In order to increase mutual trust and create the necessary conditions for further negotiations and achieving the ultimate goal of agreeing and signing (an) agreement, a decision was made to radically, by a large margin, reduce military activity in the Kiev and Chernihiv directions."
Fomin made no mention of other battleground locations, such as Mariupol in the southeast, Sumy and Kharkov in the east, and Kherson and Mykolaiv in the south.
Stressing the importance of Russia's actions, not its words, Blinken said the US sees no indication that negotiations between Russia and Ukraine are “moving forward in an effective way," throwing cold water on optimism regarding the talks.
Russian Presidential Aide Vladimir Medinsky, who leads the Russian delegation to the talks with Ukraine, said Ukraine proposed being proclaimed a neutral state in exchange for being guaranteed its security by a number of guarantor nations.