Blinken arrives in Berlin for Ukraine talks with European allies
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Berlin for talks with allies on Thursday in a diplomatic push to defuse tensions with Moscow over Ukraine, a day after warning that Russia could attack its neighbour at "very short notice", News.Az reports citing Reuters.
U.S. President Joe Biden predicted on Wednesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin will make a military move into Ukraine after massing troops near its borders, but said a full-scale invasion would trigger a response that would be costly for Russia and its economy.
Blinken, who vowed in Kyiv on Wednesday that Washington would pursue diplomacy as long as it could, will hold talks with Germany, France and Britain before going to Geneva to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday.
He will also give a speech in Berlin intended to put into context the tensions in Europe and the stakes involved, a senior State Department official said.
Aimed at the European public as well as policymakers, the speech will try to cast the crisis over Ukraine as a critical moment for the rules-based international order, the official said.
Blinken, the top U.S. diplomat, will say Russia's actions raise the question of where Moscow's efforts to rebuild the Soviet empire will stop, but that Washington still believes a diplomatic solution is possible.
U.S.-Russia negotiations last week produced no breakthrough.