Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said on Tuesday that he had canceled a planned meeting with his Russian counterpart, but that the United States would continue to pursue diplomacy if Russia took steps to de-escalate the act. war with Ukraine.
Mr. Blinken was scheduled to depart Wednesday morning to meet with the Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov. Speaking to reporters at the Foreign Ministry alongside Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, Blinken said he had sent Lavrov a letter asking for the meeting to be postponed.
“Russia’s renewed invasion of Ukraine has now begun which means it’s clear that the idea of a meeting this week with Foreign Minister Lavrov, to pursue diplomacy – diplomacy has now,” Blinken said. rejected by Russia – is meaningless.
Mr. Kuleba said that his government would also seek to pursue diplomacy where possible to prevent an outright Russian invasion. If that fails, he added, his people will “fight for every inch of our land, every city and every village. To fight until we win”.
Mr. Kuleba said his government appreciates the new sanctions against Russia imposed by the Biden administration. But he called for even stronger action.
The world must respond with all its economic might to punish Russia for the crimes it has committed, and for the crimes it intends to commit. “Hit the Russian economy now, and hit it hard.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/22/world/europe/blinken-cancels-meeting-with-his-russian-counterpart.html Blinken canceled the meeting with his Russian counterpart.