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Ukraine: Moscow hopes for “contact” between Putin and Biden “in the next few days”

At the height of tensions between Moscow and Western countries over Ukraine, Russia said it hoped Thursday for “contact” between Russian President Vladimir Poutine and his American counterpart Joe Biden “in the coming days”. It is that declared a Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergei Riabkov, specifying that no date had yet been agreed, while a tense face-to-face is taking place in Sweden.

The American and Russian foreign ministers exchanged warnings on Thursday about Ukraine while ensuring that they want to resolve the crisis through diplomacy, before a possible exchange between the two presidents. “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, repeating 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 threatening painful economic sanctions on Wednesday. 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 their respect by all parties.

At the podium of the ministerial meeting of the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OCSE) which, coincidentally, brought together the two rival powers on Thursday as well as Ukraine in the suburbs of Stockholm, Antony Blinken had previously called the Russia to “de-escalate” and withdraw the troops recently amassed, according to the West, at the Ukrainian border.

Lavrov calls for agreements against “the enlargement of NATO to the East”

“The nightmare scenario of military confrontation” is making its return to Europe, warned Sergey Lavrov, who accused the Atlantic Alliance of “bringing its military infrastructure closer to Russian borders”. Russia announced on Thursday that it had arrested three Ukrainian spies.

The Russian minister called for “the elaboration of agreements preventing any further enlargement of NATO to the East” – and therefore to Ukraine -, but he also made sure he wanted to give dialogue a chance. “We are interested in joint efforts for the resolution of the Ukrainian crisis,” he pleaded. “We are ready for it. “

VIDEO. “Ukraine will retaliate without hesitation”: Kiev warns Moscow against any attempted invasion

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.

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