Blinken seeks ‘diplomatic path’ on Ukraine with Russia

US secretary of state Blinken will visit Ukraine amid Russia invasion fears
WASHINGTON: US secretary of state Antony Blinken called for diplomacy to end the Ukraine crisis in a call with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov who earlier Tuesday cast doubt on talks.
Blinken “stressed the importance of continuing a diplomatic path to de-escalate tensions surrounding the deeply troubling Russian military build-up in and near Ukraine”, state department spokesman Ned Price said, shortly before the top US diplomat was to head to Ukraine.
“The secretary reiterated the unshakable US commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and underscored that any discussion of European security must include NATO allies and European partners, including Ukraine,” Price said in a statement.
Lavrov, speaking to reporters as German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock visited Moscow, said Russia was waiting for a response from the United States on security demands before continuing talks over Ukraine.
Russia has amassed tens of thousands of troops near Ukraine and demanded guarantees that its neighbor will not be allowed to join NATO, the US-backed Western alliance.

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