Blinken cancels talks with Russia’s Viklov and says Ukraine’s invasion is the “beginning”

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday said he had canceled a scheduled Thursday meeting with Russian counterpart Sergeń≠ Viklov on Moscow’s decision to recognize the separatist region of Ukraine as an independent entity. Announced.

Immediately after meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in Washington, Blinken told reporters that the meeting between him and Viklov would not go as planned, given the situation.

“Now that the aggression has begun and Russia has revealed a total refusal of diplomacy, it makes no sense for us to proceed with the meeting at this time,” Blinken said. “I consulted with allies and partners. Everyone agrees.”

The decision was unveiled after Russia’s President Vladimir Putin announced on Monday that he would recognize two Kremlin-backed territories, self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics, who accused Ukrainian troops of artillery and angry tensions. It is done after claiming to have denied. ..

US and Ukrainian officials have warned that they expect Moscow to create an “excuse” to justify the invasion of Ukraine.

Putin signed Law Issued by the Kremlin on Monday, it allowed Russian troops to “maintain peace” in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. Russian special operations forces have been reported many times in Donbas since the 2014 Crimean crisis.

Blinken continues to commit to diplomacy if the United States “changes Moscow’s approach” and Russia “is ready to take empirical steps to give some confidence to the international community.” Said.

He added that he would do whatever he could “to avoid a worse case scenario, a total assault on the whole of Ukraine, including the capital.”

“But while accelerating Russia’s path to conflict and war, it does not allow Russia to pretend to be diplomatic,” Blinken told reporters.

Blinken said he had informed Labrov in a letter of his decision to cancel their meeting.

Epoch Times Photo
Ukrainian soldiers sit behind a military truck on February 21, 2022, in the Russian-backed separatists and the Donetsk Oblast town of Avdiivka, at the forefront of eastern Ukraine. (Aleksey Filippov / AFP via Getty Images)

On Tuesday, Russia was hit by a new wave of sanctions to order troops in the separatist region of Ukraine.

The United States, European Union, Canada and the United Kingdom have announced plans to target banks and the elite, while Germany has canceled a major gas pipeline project from Russia.

Moscow has repeatedly denied planning an invasion, despite estimates by Western officials that Russia has gathered more than 150,000 troops near its border with Ukraine.

According to US company Maxar, satellite images over the last 24 hours show the deployment of several new troops and equipment in western Russia and more than 100 vehicles at a small airfield in southern Belarus bordering Ukraine. increase.

“This is the beginning of Russia’s invasion,” President Joe Biden said on Tuesday.

The White House on Tuesday also said the meeting between Biden and Putin was “certainly not included in the plan.” Spokesman Jen Psaki said on Sunday that Biden “in principle accepted” the meeting with Putin, but only “if the aggression did not occur.”

Reuters contributed to this report.

Isabelle van Brugen


Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter for The Epoch Times. She holds a Master’s degree in Newspaper Journalism from City University of London.

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