The US Secretary of State and the Russian Foreign Minister have unveiled that a meeting of the countries’ Presidents is expected to be held soon.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met on Thursday in Stockholm, Sweden, within the framework of the 28th OSCE Ministerial Council. Their talks were held without press and lasted for about 40 minutes.
At a press conference held after the negotiations, Blinken announced that he had warned his colleague of "severe costs" Russia would face if it made an incursion into neighboring Ukraine.
"I made very clear our deep concerns and our resolve to hold Russia responsible for its actions, including our commitment to work with European allies to impose severe costs and consequences on Russia if it takes further aggressive action against Ukraine."
The Secretary of State has added that he urged Russia to look for a diplomatic solution to the tensions and suggested reversing the recent troop buildup near the Russia-Ukraine border. The relevant satellite photos were taken in November which made CIA Director William Burns hold phone talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry reports that Lavrov focused on re-establishing a “serious, complex dialogue” to develop agreements reached by Russian President Putin and US President Joe Biden during a meeting in Geneva this summer.
Besides, Lavrov has also warned his American counterpart that “engaging Ukraine in the geopolitical games of the US” will imply grave consequences and make Russia respond, highlighting, however, that Russia is not interested in the conflict’s escalation. He also demanded that Ukraine respect its obligations imposed by the Minsk Protocol.
"We, as President Putin has said, do not want any conflicts."
Blinken and Lavrov have also brought up the subject of Iran’s nuclear deal as it presented two agreement drafts this morning.
The diplomats revealed that the heads of state will probably meet face to face soon without specifying further details.
This Thursday’s meeting is the first this year during which the US and Russian top diplomats shook hands. Earlier in May, they greeted each other with elbows due to COVID-related restrictions.