Russia responds in writing to US ahead of Blinken-Lavrov call


Moscow’s response comes days after Washington submitted its own documents to Moscow and ahead of a scheduled phone call between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday.

A senior State Department official and a State Department spokesperson confirmed on Monday that they had “received written follow-up from Russia.”

“It would be counterproductive to negotiate in public, so we will leave it up to Russia to discuss its response,” the spokesperson said. “We remain fully committed to dialogue to resolve these issues and will continue to consult closely with our allies and partners, including Ukraine.”

Public reactions to these written responses from the United States – in which administration officials said the United States had expressed a willingness to work with Russia on issues such as arms control but had refused to room for NATO’s ‘open door’ policy – ​​have been largely pessimistic.

It is unclear whether Moscow’s written response, first reported by The Washington Post, was received before or after Monday’s UN Security Council meeting on Moscow’s escalation along the border. with Ukraine, which ended in a stalemate between the United States and Russia.

US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield told reporters after the session, during which the US accused Russia of planning to massage tens of thousands of soldiers along the Belarusian-Ukrainian border, whom the United States “called for this meeting to allow the Russians to give us an explanation for their actions.”

“We didn’t hear much,” she said. “They didn’t give us the answers that any of us would have hoped they would provide.”

The public meeting at UN headquarters in New York went ahead on Monday despite opposition from China and Russia.

US officials have repeatedly urged Moscow to follow a diplomatic path, warning that a further invasion of Ukraine would result in swift and significant sanctions – a message reiterated by President Joe Biden on Monday as the meeting got under way.

Tense UN meeting

In his remarks to the Security Council on Monday, Thomas-Greenfield said, “We continue to hope that Russia will choose the path of diplomacy over the path of conflict in Ukraine. But we cannot just “wait and see”. It is crucial that this Council addresses the risk that their aggressive and destabilizing behavior poses across the world.”

She spoke of Russia’s buildup of more than 100,000 troops along its border with Ukraine, as well as US intelligence that Russia has moved nearly 5,000 troops to Belarus and intends to massing “more than 30,000 troops near the border between Belarus and Ukraine … by early”. February.”

“If Russia invades Ukraine further, none of us will be able to say we didn’t see it coming. And the consequences will be horrific,” Thomas-Greenfield said.

Russia’s UN ambassador Vasily Nebenzia claimed his UN colleagues are “stirring up tensions and rhetoric”, saying the US and others want the conflict to happen.

“This deployment of Russian troops on our own territory is telling our Western and American colleagues that there is going to be planned military action and even an act of aggression…Russian military action against Ukraine that “they all assure will take place in a few weeks or even days. However, there is no evidence to confirm that such a serious charge is being made,” he said in a translated address at the meeting.

“You’re almost calling for it, you want it to happen. You’re waiting for it to happen, like you want your words to come true. This despite the fact that we consistently deny these allegations and it’s despite the fact that ‘No threat of a planned invasion of Ukraine was made from the mouth of a Russian politician or public figure during this entire period,’ Nebenzia said.

Thomas-Greenfield replied that it was Moscow that was provoking, not the United States or its Security Council partners.

“We have made clear our commitment to the path of diplomacy. I hope our Russian colleagues will also choose this path and engage peacefully with the international community, including Ukraine,” she said.

This story was updated with additional details on Monday.

CNN’s Kylie Atwood, Laura Ly and Michael Conte contributed to this report.


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