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Blinken and Lavrov convene in Geneva to discuss Ukraine crisis Updated: 2022-01-22 17:27:07 KST

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met in Geneva, Switzerland on Friday for the two countries' latest round of talks aimed at de-escalating tensions on the Ukrainian border.
Russia has mobilized some 100,000 troops on the border and is being accused by the U.S. of planning an invasion something Moscow denies.

"We have been very clear throughout: if any Russian military forces move across the Ukrainian border and commit new acts of aggression against Ukraine, that will be met with a swift, severe, united response from the United States and our allies and partners."

The top U.S. diplomat had also warned that an invasion of Ukraine would send a wrong message to the international community that invading a sovereign nation would be an acceptable thing to do.

"It's bigger than a conflict between two countries. It's bigger than Russia and NATO, it's a crisis with global consequences, and it requires global attention and action."

Russia is demanding binding security guarantees, which include permanently prohibiting Ukraine from North Atlantic Treaty Organization membership and the removal of most of the allied military presence in Eastern Europe led by the U.S.
Washington and NATO have rejected these requests, saying that any attack on Ukraine would have costly repercussions a sentiment shared by the European Commission.

"If the situation deteriorates, if there are any further attacks on the territorial integrity of Ukraine, we will respond with massive economic and financial sanctions. The transatlantic community stands firm on this, the European Union is by far Russia's biggest trading partner, and by far the largest investor."

The U.S. has already imposed sanctions on current and former Ukrainian officials whom it has accused of working on behalf of Russian intelligence to “destabilize” their own country.
Han Seong-woo, Arirang News.
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