Top US diplomat Blinkin cancels meeting with Russia’s Lavrov over Ukraine

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said on Tuesday he had canceled a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that had been scheduled for Thursday after Moscow recognized two breakaway regions in Ukraine as independent entities.

Blinken said he agreed to meet with his counterpart Lavrov only if Russia did not invade Ukraine.

“Now that we have seen the start of the invasion and Russia has made clear its blanket rejection of diplomacy, it does not make sense to move forward with this meeting at this time,” Blinkin told reporters after meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in Washington. .

“I consulted with our allies and partners, and everyone agreed,” Blinken said, adding that he sent a letter to Lavrov on Tuesday informing him that he would no longer meet with him.

The US Secretary of State said that the United States and its allies will continue to escalate sanctions if Russia escalates its aggression against Ukraine.

The Associated Press

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