Blinken announced a telephone conversation with Lavrov in the coming days

This will be the first conversation between a Russian minister and an American secretary of state since the start of the special operation in Ukraine. Blinken said he wanted to discuss the release of Whelan and Greiner, as well as the grain deal jpg” alt=”Blinken announced a telephone conversation with Lavrov in the coming days” />

Anthony Blinken

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will have a telephone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the coming days. Blinken announced this at a press conference, which was broadcast on YouTube.

“In the coming days, I suppose that I will talk with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov for the first time since the start of [special operation]”, — he said.

According to Blinken, he intends to raise the “priority” Topics for the United States: the release of Paul Whelan, an employee of the American auto parts manufacturer BorgWarner, who was convicted of espionage in Russia in 2020, and basketball player Britney Griner, who is accused of drug smuggling; as well as an agreement between Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the UN on the export of Ukrainian grain, which the parties signed on July 22. According to Blinken, the agreement is a positive step, but there is a difference between “a deal on paper and a deal in practice.” In his speech, the Secretary of State also mentioned US concerns about Russia's actions in the Donbass.

The last time Lavrov and Blinken spoke by phone was February 15. The conversation took place at the initiative of Washington. As stated in the message of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Moscow “emphasized the need to continue joint work” after telephone conversations between the presidents” Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin. This conversation between the heads of state is the last one at the moment. The topic of conversation between Blinken and Lavrov was the proposals of both sides on security guarantees, the Russian minister urged his colleague to abandon aggressive rhetoric.

On the night of February 24, a personal meeting of the heads of foreign affairs agencies was to take place, but the day before, Blinken canceled it. The Secretary of State explained this by saying that he sees the beginning of hostilities in Ukraine from Russia and does not want to “create the appearance of diplomacy.” A few hours after Blinken's statement, Putin officially announced the start of a military operation in Ukraine. In early March, Blinken said that the US would be ready to start negotiations on the situation in Ukraine if Russia withdrew its troops and agreed to move to a diplomatic settlement.

Blinken allowed contacts with Lavrov at the G20 summit in July, but the meeting did not take place. The State Department noted that they were waiting for a reason for a meeting between the minister and the secretary of state.

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In May, Lavrov said that Russia, before resuming relations with Western countries, even if they themselves offer to do it, “will seriously think.”

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