Was predictable. The US diplomat will not meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva on Thursday. This was confirmed by Anthony Blingen on Tuesday evening, following the firm intervention of President Biden who announced the new sanctions. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian did the same. He was scheduled to meet with Sergei Lavrov in Paris on Friday.
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The red line is crossed
“Now we see the invasion beginning and Russia making it clear that it rejects diplomacy altogether. There is no point in continuing this meeting at this time,” Anthony Blinken said after consulting with allies. He spoke with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba at the State Secretariat. “At the same time we will not allow Russia to be called diplomatic while accelerating its march on the path of conflict and war,” he added.
That same morning, Sergei Lavrov said he was still ready to meet his opponent. The previous day, Vladimir Putin had recognized the independence of two pro-Russian separatist regions in eastern Ukraine, where he decided to send troops, provoking strong reactions and announcing sanctions from the West.
Avoiding “bad situations”
Blingen’s decision represents a turning point. The United States, which has been announcing an “immediate” offensive for several days, has made it clear that there will be no high-level meetings in the event of an “invasion.” But Vladimir Putin has crossed the red line. At a news conference Tuesday evening, Joe Biden spoke openly about “the beginning of an invasion” that allowed Blinken to use the same language.
According to the Democratic leader, Vladimir Putin is “in the process of making further justifications.” It took the White House several hours to refine its response. She hopes to avoid more “bad situations”. Elected Republicans, for their part, did not hesitate to talk about a “declaration of war.”
During his speech, Joe Biden announced that he would “re-establish US forces already stationed in Europe to strengthen the Baltic allies Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.” He also praised the efforts of Western allies over sanctions, particularly on Berlin’s suspension of approval for the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
Donald Trump is involved
Anthony Blinken is ready to meet with Sergei Lavrov if he does not travel to Geneva, at least not immediately, if “Moscow changes its attitude”. But the last few hours have not been very encouraging. The United States is already talking about new sanctions, with the exception of the one announced by Joe Biden on Tuesday, which continues with a strategy on the waves. One of the proposed ways is to exclude Russia from the international Swift system required for international banking transactions.
The first tranche of sanctions announced on Tuesday is aimed at diverting government, central bank and Russian sovereign wealth funds from any new Western financing of sovereign debt – financing military spending through two public sector banks – Vnesheconombank and Promsvyazbank. Five oligarchy groups close to Putin and their families. The assets of the latter in the United States have been frozen. On Monday, Joe Biden announced the first order banning all new US investment in pro-Russian areas of Donetsk and Lukansk.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump, who was ousted by Vladimir Putin on Monday – he believed-, called the Russian leader a “genius” and was inspired by his strategy. He took advantage of the opportunity to criticize Joe Biden’s crisis administration in particular, at the microphone of conservative Podcasts, who vowed that Putin would never “act the same way” with him.
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