The United States will consider all means to advance diplomacy with Russia if it sees an opening, but at the moment Moscow shows no sign of willingness to engage in meaningful talks, the US secretary of state said on Friday. Anthony Blinken.
“Everything indicates that far from being willing to engage in meaningful diplomacy, President Putin continues to push in the opposite direction,” Blinken said during a press conference with his French counterpart Catherine Colonna.
“We are considering and will consider all ways to advance diplomacy if we see an opening to advance it by any means, of course we will always consider it,” he said, but added that Moscow was instead “doubling and tripling” on its aggressiveness.
Russia has stepped up its missile and drone attacks on Ukraine’s electricity and water infrastructure this week in what Ukraine and the West are calling a campaign of intimidation of civilians ahead of winter cold.
Earlier this month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview that Russia was willing to engage with the United States or with Turkey on ways to end the war, which in is now in its eighth month, but had not yet received any serious offers for negotiation.
Europe’s biggest conflict in decades has drawn comparisons to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war and raised the question of whether Washington and Moscow should engage in talks to avert a extension of the war, including a nuclear confrontation. .
Blinken and other US officials have repeatedly said that Moscow is not interested in meaningful diplomacy.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke with his Russian counterpart, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Friday, their first call since May, and stressed the importance of maintaining lines of communication amid the war in Ukraine, according to a Pentagon statement.
In televised remarks to his Security Council, Putin strengthened the powers of Russia’s regional governors and ordered the creation of a coordination council under Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin to support his “special military operation”.
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