(Trends Wide) — Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov have agreed to meet in Geneva on Friday, January 21, following Blinken’s meetings in Kiev and Berlin, a senior Russian official told reporters on Tuesday. Department of State.
This will be the first high-level meeting between the United States and Russia since last week’s diplomatic engagements failed to make progress.
The two foreign ministers spoke by phone on Tuesday and the senior official said it was “in the context of that conversation” that they agreed to meet in person.
The fact that Blinken and Lavrov are meeting this Friday “suggests that perhaps diplomacy is not dead,” the official said.
The official said the two sides wanted to see if there were opportunities for “common ground.” Following last week’s diplomatic engagements, a wide gap remained between Washington and Moscow over Russia’s key demands, which the US and its NATO allies deemed impossible.
Blinken is “150% committed to seeing if there is a diplomatic way out here” and that is the impetus for this commitment, the official said. It is still too early to know whether Russia is prepared to negotiate in good faith, the official added.
It is unclear whether the US will respond to Russia’s proposal last week with a written response, which Moscow has demanded. When asked about it, the official said only that the United States remains prepared to engage with Russia on “security issues and meaningful dialogue.”