US outlines position on dialogue with Russia

Constructive negotiations will depend on Putin and on Russian officials, Washington claims

American officials remain prepared to pursue a path of diplomacy with Moscow and engage in dialogue, the US’ top diplomat has revealed, as Russian troops continue their attack on Ukraine.

Speaking as part of an interview with British state broadcaster BBC on Friday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken insisted that American officials have not abandoned talking with their Russian counterparts.

“We’ll always look for opportunities for diplomacy and for dialogue. It depends entirely on President [Vladimir] Putin and on Russia,” he said.

According to Blinken, if Moscow shows “any signs of being willing to engage in meaningful diplomacy, of course we’ll engage.”

“We look to our Ukrainian partners, too. They are talking to the Russians, but that’s not producing anything,” he added.

Responding to whether Washington would be willing to respect Russia’s territorial claims on Crimea and its recognition of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics as sovereign, Blinken said that it will be up to Kiev to decide, but the US will support decisions made by the Ukrainian people.

His comments come as Russia’s military carry out an incursion into the Eastern European nation. The Kremlin argues that the intervention seeks to “demilitarize” and “denazify” Ukraine, and Putin has insisted that there are no plans to occupy its neighbor’s territory.

The operation followed requests from the leaders of the recently recognized Donetsk and Lugansk Republics for assistance in combatting what they claimed to be an uptick in aggression from Ukraine’s armed forces.

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