The top Russian diplomat Sergey Lavrov confirmed on Monday he plans to meet with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The top officials will meet in Geneva on Feb 24, according to Andalou Agency.
During the meeting of the Russian Security Council, the Russian foreign minister said the two diplomats will discuss the recent developments regarding the Russian proposals on security guarantees.
“Such a meeting is scheduled for this week, for Feb. 24 in Geneva. We will be guided by the positions that you have approved and that you defend in contacts with your colleagues and which, of course, we will actively promote at the level of the Foreign Ministry,” Lavrov reported to President Putin.
Last week, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed Blinken accepted Lavrov’s invitation to meet in person in Switzerland, but this plan remains in force only if Russia refrains from an invasion of Ukraine.
Over the months, tensions have risen dramatically in eastern Ukraine last week, with multiple reports of a growing number of cease-fire violations, shelling incidents, and even evacuation of civilians from the pro-Russian separatist regions of Donetsk and Lugansk.
Western allies have accused Russia of amassing more than 100,000 troops near Ukraine, prompting fears that it could be planning a military offensive against its ex-Soviet neighbour.
Kremlin has repeatedly denied any plan to invade Ukraine and instead accused Western countries of undermining Russia’s security through NATO’s expansion toward its borders.