MOSCOW: Russia said Monday that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov would speak by phone with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at a time when tensions between the two countries over Ukraine have risen significantly.
In a statement to reporters, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Sakharov said that Lavrov and Blinked will have a telephone call on Tuesday, but that there were no arrangements for a face-to-face meeting.
The planned phone conference will be the latest in a rush of diplomatic contacts between senior diplomats from Moscow, Brussels, and Washington, all of which have been prompted by the situation in Ukraine and divergent views on security concerns in the European Union.
Recent days have seen an increase in fears of a Russian incursion into Ukraine, despite denials from Moscow as well as appeals from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to avoid inciting “panic” over Russia’s large military build-up along the country’s border with the country.
The United Nations Security Council is scheduled to meet later Monday to discuss the crisis, with the United States threatening to hold Russia accountable if it attacks Ukraine, including by drafting sanctions in conjunction with Western partners, if it does.