16 May 2022,   09:20
Blinken, Lavrov to meet in Geneva on Friday to discuss Ukraine standoff

Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday in Geneva in hopes of securing a “diplomatic off-ramp” to the Ukraine crisis, a US official said, hours after Moscow rejected fresh talks on Ukraine unless the West responded to its demands, writes France24.

With tens of thousands of Russian troops massing on Ukraine’s borders, efforts have intensified to prevent a conflict and Blinken was preparing to fly to Kyiv for talks on Wednesday. His trip, which will also take him to Berlin for meetings Thursday with European allies, is the latest in a flurry of diplomacy to prevent the tensions over Ukraine from escalating into a new war in Europe.

“Secretary Blinken is 150 percent committed to see if there is a diplomatic off-ramp here and that really is the impetus behind this engagement with Foreign Minister Lavrov”, a senior official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

“It’s really an opportunity for the US to share our major concerns with Russia and to see where there might be an opportunity for Russia and the United States to find common ground”, - she said.