Blinken, Lavrov discuss Russian militarization of Crimea during first in-person meeting

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Canan Kevser
21 May 2021, 10:35
Canan Kevser
21 May 2021, 10:35

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov met on Wednesday for the first time since Joe Biden took the presidency chair. The interlocutors discussed global and regional issues, including Russia’s recent military buildup near Ukraine's border and in occupied Crimea.

The meeting came on the margins of the Arctic Council Ministerial meeting in Iceland, the U.S. Department of State reported.

In the first high-level meeting, both leaders admitted to having many disagreements. Blinken warned his counterpart of a response "if Russia acts aggressively against the U.S., its partners, and its allies."

Blinken said that the United States sought a more stable and predictable relationship with Moscow. He raised deep concerns regarding Russia’s continued military deployments in and near Ukraine as well as its actions against media, particularly VOA and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Among other issues, the U.S. diplomat also touched upon Russia's repression of opposition organizations and the situation of detained Russian opposition leader Aleksey Navalny.