US Secretary of State Blinken to Meet with Russian, Ukrainian Counterparts Amid Growing Tensions

The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he will meet with his Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Thursday amid growing tensions that Moscow could likely invade Ukraine.  

In a press briefing following a meeting of NATO’s foreign ministers in Latvia on Wednesday, Blinken said he will meet with the diplomats at a summit of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. 

The meeting comes when the US and NATO warned of costly consequences if Russia attacked Ukraine.  

Russia has stepped up planning for potential military action in Ukraine, including positioning tens of thousands of additional combat forces near the Ukrainian border, Blinken said.

“We don’t know whether President Vladimir Putin has made the decision to invade,” he said, adding, “We do know that he is putting in place the capacity to do so in short order should he so decide.”

Blinken added that the US would respond “resolutely” to any effort to destabilize Ukraine.

“We are prepared to impose severe costs for further Russian aggression in Ukraine,” he said.

A day before Blinken, the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also warned that “there will be a high price to pay” if Russia uses force against Ukraine. 

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