Pull back from Ukraine if you’re not going to invade, Blinken tells Russia


WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken informed his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in a name on Tuesday that now could be the time to pull back Russian troops from the border with Ukraine if Moscow is not intending to invade, a senior State Department official informed reporters.

In a telephone name that lasted round half-hour, Blinken and Lavrov has held a “skilled and pretty candid” dialog in English, the official stated, however added the there was no breakthrough or settlement and that Washington had not seen any indicators on the bottom of a possible de-escalation.

“We proceed to hear these assurances that Russia is not planning to invade, however actually each motion we see says in any other case, with the continued construct up of troops, heavy weapons, shifting to the border,” the official stated, talking on the situation of anonymity.

“If President Putin actually does not intend struggle or regime change, the Secretary informed Foreign Minister Lavrov then that is the time to pull back troops and heavy weaponry and interact in a severe dialogue….that may improve collective European safety,” the official stated.

Russia has massed greater than 100,000 troops close to Ukraine’s borders, whereas denying plans to invade – an motion that the United States and its allies have warned would set off powerful sanctions.

The West final week formally rejected Russian calls for to bar Ukraine from ever becoming a member of NATO and pull out NATO forces from jap Europe, whereas expressing willingness to speak about arms management and confidence-building measures.

The official additionally stated Lavrov “clarified” in his name with Blinken {that a} letter Lavrov despatched to the United States and others on Monday “was not their formal response.”

“The (formal) response can have to go to President Putin, then they are going to ship it to us,” the official stated. “Once we’ve obtained it then the secretary and the minister agreed that they need to communicate once more concerning the subsequent steps within the course of.”

(Reporting by Simon Lewis and Humeyra PamukEditing by Alistair Bell)

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