Monday, May 24, 2021

Blinken Says It's 'Up to Russia to Decide' What Relationship It Will Have with US - FARS

(FNA)- Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday said it was "up to Russia" whether or not it has a more stable relationship with the US following a meeting last week with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

While appearing on CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS", Blinken stated he and Lavrov had an "instructive, very business like conversation over the course of nearly two hours, but President [Joe] Biden’s been very clear with President [Vladimir] Putin. And I repeated what President Biden said to President Putin to Foreign Minister Lavrov, and that’s this, we would prefer to have a more stable, predictable relationship with Russia".

Blinken added a more stable relationship between the US and Russia would be beneficial for both countries and "good for the world".

"And there are clearly areas where it’s in our mutual interest to find ways to cooperate, whether it’s on Afghanistan, whether it’s on so-called strategic stability or arms control agreements, whether it’s on dealing with climate change," he continued.

He stated, "It’s really important to be very clear about what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and, ultimately, it is up to Russia to decide whether it wants to have that more predictable, stable relationship. We need to test the proposition."

Biden and Putin are expected to take part in a summit at a yet-to-be-named third-party country some time this summer.

Tensions with between Russia and the US currently remain high due to actions such allegations over election interference, the SolarWinds hack and the recent military buildup at the Ukraine border.

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has noted the meeting between the Russian and US presidents is important for overcoming the crisis in bilateral relations.

"The most important thing is the mere fact of a meeting, because it is rather important for our bilateral relations, for leading them out of that sad situation in which they are now," Peskov told Moscow. Kremlin. Putin program on Rossiya-1 TV channel.

According to Peskov, the choice of a particular venue for talks between the Russian and US presidents is more a technical issue and the mere fact of the meeting is important.

The Kremlin Spokesman noted that the meeting was being discussed now.

"Lavrov told the president in detail about the outcome of his talks with Mr. Blinken and the president will make a decision," Peskov said, adding, "As soon as he does this, we will inform the public."

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