US State Department: Blinken ready to meet Lavrov at any time
The Spokesperson expresses concern about the deployment of Russian soldiers to Belarus and the Ukrainian border, and Blinken prepares to visit Germany.
US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price confirmed that the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is ready to meet with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, at any time.
He believed that the US will engage in the discussions, depending on the seriousness and diplomacy of the Russians.
Price added that the government is concerned with the alleged Russian forces deployed on the Ukrainian border, noting that there are more than 150,000 Russian soldiers on the Ukrainian borders.
The Spokesperson accused Russia of launching misleading campaigns to cover up any possibility of an attack on Ukraine, pointing out that his country did not yet receive any Russian response regarding the security guarantees presented by Moscow.
Blinken to Germany
In the same context, the US State Department announced that Secretary Blinken will travel to Germany from February 17 to 20, to attend the Munich Security Conference.
On the sidelines of the conference, the US State Department stated that Blinken will have the opportunity to coordinate ongoing efforts with allies and partners to urge Russia to "de-escalate and choose the path of diplomacy."
Blinken plans to reaffirm support for Ukraine's "sovereignty and territorial integrity" while holding bilateral meetings with his counterparts to advance European security and other global challenges.
We stand with President @ZelenskyyUa and the people of Ukraine on this Day of Unity. We share a common desire for a bright and prosperous future for all Ukrainians. Sovereignty and territorial integrity are fundamental to that future. I am #UnitedWithUkraine. pic.twitter.com/chmzV89Lr8— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) February 16, 2022
It is noteworthy that Blinken had had a phone call with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, and the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Lavrov told his counterpart that "the aggressive rhetoric pursued by the United States and its closest allies on the issue of the Ukrainian crisis is unacceptable."
Lavrov stressed that the propaganda campaign waged by the United States and its allies about Russian aggression against Ukraine has provocative aims and encourages the authorities in Kyiv to sabotage the Minsk agreements.
On her part, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova said Thursday that "the West’s attempt to blame Russia for deploying troops on the border with Ukraine is nothing but propaganda."
Mocking Western media reports over the alleged Russian "invasion" of Ukraine, Zakharova asked US and UK media outlets to provide a schedule of Russia's "upcoming invasions".
“I’d like to request US and British disinformation: Bloomberg, The New York Times and The Sun media outlets to publish the schedule for our upcoming invasions for the year. I’d like to plan my vacation,” Zakharova said Wednesday on her Telegram channel.