Blinken Trades Warnings With Russia’s Lavrov Over Ukraine, NATO

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Politics|Blinken Trades Warnings With Russia’s Lavrov Over Ukraine, NATO

The caput of authorities said that President Biden is ‘likely’ to talk soon with Russian President Vladimir V. Putin.


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After gathering with the overseas ministers of Ukraine and Russia successful Stockholm, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said the U.S. would proceed to enactment Ukraine against Russian invasion, and enactment with some parties connected a diplomatic resolve.CreditCredit...Pool photograph by Jonathan Nackstrand

Michael Crowley

Published Dec. 2, 2021Updated Dec. 3, 2021, 10:21 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said connected Thursday that President Biden would “likely” talk straight with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia “in the adjacent future,” arsenic portion of a frantic diplomatic effort to caput disconnected what Western officials fearfulness could beryllium a Russian penetration of Ukraine.

Mr. Blinken spoke to reporters successful Stockholm connected Thursday, soon aft gathering with Russia’s overseas minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, connected the sidelines of an yearly gathering of the Organization for Security and Cooperation successful Europe.

Mr. Blinken said helium had communicated “clearly and directly” to Mr. Lavrov American concerns astir antithetic unit movements and different menacing actions by Moscow that look to presage a Russian penetration of its neighbor, a erstwhile Soviet republic whose independency and Western ties Mr. Putin resents.

Mr. Blinken warned that the United States would enactment with allies “to enforce terrible costs and consequences connected Russia if it takes further assertive enactment against Ukraine.” He said those could see “high-impact economical measures that we’ve refrained from taking successful the past,” but declined to connection much details.

Mr. Lavrov came bearing his ain threats. Echoing caller warnings by Mr. Putin, Mr. Lavrov said that “drawing Ukraine into the geopolitical games of the United States against the inheritance of the deployment of NATO forces successful the contiguous vicinity of our borders volition person the astir superior consequences,” according to a connection from the Russian Foreign Ministry aft his gathering with Mr. Blinken.

Mr. Lavrov repeated Mr. Putin’s request for “long-term information guarantees” connected Russia’s occidental borders, which the Russian president on Wednesday defined arsenic agreements that Ukraine volition ne'er articulation NATO and that the alliance’s weapons systems volition not beryllium based there. Mr. Lavrov said that otherwise, Russia was prepared to instrumentality “retaliatory measures to close the military-strategic balance,” according to the statement.

As Russia speaks progressively of threats from NATO, Mr. Blinken has warned that Russia mightiness fabricate a provocation to warrant subject enactment against Ukraine. On Thursday helium told reporters that “despite a monolithic Russian disinformation campaign, Ukraine successful nary mode poses a menace to Russia.”

“The lone menace is that of renewed Russian aggression towards Ukraine,” Mr. Blinken said.

Neither Mr. Blinken nor the White House provided much item connected immoderate Biden-Putin conversation. Kremlin officials person suggested the anticipation for days, but Mr. Blinken’s remark was the archetypal wide denotation from Washington that Mr. Biden was taking the thought seriously.

The 2 presidents met successful idiosyncratic for the archetypal clip successful June amid a akin authorities of alarm astir a imaginable Russian penetration of eastbound Ukraine, wherever Russian forces person agelong backed a pro-Moscow separatist insurgency. Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula successful 2014 successful a determination the U.S. inactive does not recognize.

Russian forces partially withdrew soon earlier Mr. Biden and Mr. Putin met successful Geneva, starring immoderate analysts to suggest that Mr. Putin had manufactured the situation successful portion to unafraid a gathering with the caller American president.

Biden officials said astatine the clip that the summit’s extremity was successful ample measurement to regain a much unchangeable and predictable footing with the Kremlin. But the narration remains poisoned.

In little remarks to reporters earlier gathering privately with Mr. Blinken, Mr. Lavrov besides alluded to a tit-for-tat with the United States involving diplomatic staff. On Wednesday, Russia ordered American diplomats who had been successful Moscow for much than 3 years to alert retired of the state by Jan. 31. The determination came days aft Russia’s ambassador to Washington said that 27 Russian diplomats and their families were being forced to permission the United States by the extremity of January.

In a regular briefing connected Thursday, the State Department’s lawman spokeswoman, Jalina Porter, said the Russian diplomats indispensable permission the state nether a argumentation that limits them to three-year stays. “What’s happening is not an expulsion,” she said, adding that caller diplomats whitethorn instrumentality their place.

The U.S. diplomatic beingness successful Russia has dramatically reduced implicit the past fewer years amid rising tensions betwixt Washington and Moscow. The State Department closed its past 2 consulates successful Russia a twelvemonth ago, citing a headdress connected diplomatic employees imposed by Moscow aft a circular of U.S. sanctions successful 2018.

Even arsenic helium managed the situation on Ukraine’s eastbound border, Mr. Blinken was besides managing diplomacy related to Iran’s atomic program, arsenic a caller circular of talks continued successful Vienna with small evident progress. The talks are aimed astatine restoring the 2015 Iran atomic deal, which President Donald J. Trump abandoned successful 2018.

Mr. Blinken fielded an antithetic telephone connected Thursday from the Israeli premier minister, Naftali Bennett, who told him that Iran was engaging successful “nuclear blackmail” and called for “an contiguous cessation of negotiations” successful Vienna.

Mr. Blinken downplayed the call, saying that helium and Mr. Bennett had a affirmative speech and agreed connected the extremity of preventing Iran from obtaining atomic weapons.

He added that Iran’s caller rhetoric and steps to accelerate its atomic programme “don’t springiness america a batch of origin for optimism,” but said “it is not excessively precocious for Iran to reverse course.”

Anton Troianovski contributed reporting from Moscow.

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