Ukraine: Russian-American face-to-face tense before an upcoming dialogue between Putin and Biden

Antony Blinken (right) and Sergey Lavrov (left) during their meeting in Stockholm this Thursday, December 2, 2021. AP - Jonathan Nackstrand

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The American and Russian Foreign Ministers had a tense face-to-face meeting this Thursday, December 2 in Sweden.

They exchanged warnings about Ukraine, while ensuring that they wanted to resolve the crisis through diplomacy, before a possible meeting between Joe Biden and Vladimir Poutin.

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"

 We are deeply concerned about Russia's plans for a new aggression against Ukraine,

 " said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken alongside his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, echoing his accusations of the day before when 'he had referred for the first time to "

 evidence

 " of such invasion preparations. " 

If Russia decides to continue on the path of confrontation, it will suffer serious consequences

 ", he warned, after having threatened this Wednesday, December 1 with painful economic sanctions.

Antony Blinken enumerated, under the disapproving gaze of Sergei Lavrov,

the grievances against Moscow

over the failure to respect the Minsk agreements supposed to settle the conflict in eastern Ukraine between the Kiev forces and the separatists pro-Russian.

But he also made a show of reaching out.

The best way to prevent a crisis is diplomacy,

 " he said, saying he was ready to " 

facilitate

 " the implementation of these agreements concluded after the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 but never really applied.

According to a senior American official, he proposed behind closed doors to bring together American and Russian experts to establish a roadmap and finally achieve respect for the agreements by all parties.

Lavrov says he wants to settle the crisis

The nightmare scenario of military confrontation

 " is making its comeback in Europe, warned Sergey Lavrov for his part.

The Russian

foreign minister

accused the Atlantic Alliance of "bringing

its military infrastructure closer to Russian borders 

".

The minister called for " 

the elaboration of agreements preventing any further enlargement of NATO to the East 

" - and therefore to Ukraine.

But he also assured to want to give a chance to the dialogue: “ 

We are interested in common efforts for the resolution of the Ukrainian crisis

We are ready for it

.

"

The real way of settling conflicts is de-escalation and diplomacy, said in essence Anthony Blinken while that very morning Russia was still playing the balance of power by announcing the arrest of Ukrainian spies, reports our correspondent in Moscow. ,

Anissa El Jabri.

 At the same time, the head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk republic said that in the event of a conflict he would not hesitate to appeal to Russia.

Putin and Biden will ' 

probably

 ' talk to each other

Despite a sober and serious tone, the meeting did not lead to an agreement, even if the two men agreed to continue the dialogue, according to an American official. This dialogue could take the form of a direct exchange between Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Poutine "

 in the coming days

 ", as Russia has expressed the wish through the voice of its Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Riabkov. A potential dialogue confirmed by

Antony Blinken

according to whom the two presidents will “ 

probably

 ” speak to each other “ 

in the near future

 ” to evoke the escalation of tensions around the Ukrainian borders.

The US Secretary of State also met in the Swedish capital his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kouleba, who reiterated his demand for a "

 deterrent

package

 " for President Putin "to 

think twice before resorting to military force.

 ".

Kiev and its Western allies have sounded the alarm since November concerning a further reinforcement of Russian troops on the borders of Ukraine and a possible winter invasion.

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  • Ukraine

  • Russia

  • United States

  • Sergey Lavrov

  • Joe biden

  • Vladimir Poutine

  • Diplomacy

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