(Belga) The heads of Russian diplomacy Sergei Lavrov and American Antony Blinken will have a telephone conversation on Tuesday, in the midst of tensions between their countries around Ukraine, Moscow announced on Monday.
“A face-to-face meeting (between Messrs. Lavrov and Blinken) is not scheduled, a telephone conversation will take place on Tuesday,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said. The United Nations Security Council meets Monday on the Ukrainian crisis at the request of Washington which, with its NATO allies, is stepping up its efforts to dissuade Moscow from invading Ukraine, while preparing new sanctions against the Russia. Moscow has been accused since the end of 2021 of having massed tens of thousands of soldiers on the Ukrainian border in preparation for an attack. The Kremlin denies any plan in this direction, while demanding written guarantees for its security, including the rejection of Ukraine’s accession to NATO and the end of the military reinforcement of the Atlantic Alliance in the East. This key request was rejected by the United States last week in a written response to Moscow. The Kremlin said it was considering its reaction. On Sunday, however, US Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland said she had detected “signs” that Russia would be interested in a dialogue on the response of the United States and NATO. Antony Blinken and Sergei Lavrov “will probably speak to each other this week,” added Ms. Nuland, in an interview with CBS. (Belga)