Washington seeks phone call between Blinken, Lavrov
The US State Department seeks diplomacy between the two at war.
The United States told Russia that it seeks to hold a telephone conversation between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, according to US State Department spokesperson Ned Price.
"We have expressed interest, we have made clear to the Russian Federation, that we are seeking a conversation between Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Lavrov," Price said. "Before the Secretary spoke yesterday, we had made contacts with the appropriate Russian counterparts to put in a call request."
He went on to say the Russian government acknowledged yesterday the request for a telephone conversation, but noted, "We have continued to go back and forth."
If Blinken doesn't label Russia "terrorist state", Congress will
Last week, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi threatened US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that if his department does not designate Russia as a "state sponsor of terrorism," Congress would go ahead and make that designation itself.
The Secretary of State is the only US authority with a mandate to designate states as sponsors of terror. However, some members of Congress believe there are no legal barriers to the body passing a relevant law and designating Russia without authorization from the State Department, Politico said.
"Congress passing legislation is obviously a more complicated route than the secretary making the designation, but it would give the administration the political cover it needs to escalate economic pressure and rhetoric against [Russian President Vladimir] Putin," the outlet quoted a Democratic as saying.
Both the State Department and Pelosi’s office declined to comment, the news outlet said.
Read more: US looking into designating Russia as "state sponsor of terrorism"