Lavrov, Blinken discuss Ukraine, security guarantees over phone

Moscow: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a phone conversation on Saturday to discuss the situation in Ukraine and security guarantees between Russia and the West.

Lavrov stressed that the propaganda campaign launched by the US and its allies about “Russian aggression” against Ukraine pursues provocative goals, encouraging the authorities in Kiev to sabotage the Minsk agreements and to make harmful attempts to resolve the “Donbas issue” by force, Xinhua news agency reported, citing a statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry.

As for Moscow’s draft agreement with NATO and draft treaty with the US on security guarantees, Lavrov pointed out that the response of Washington and Brussels “ignores key provisions for Moscow,” primarily on the non-expansion of the alliance and the non-deployment of strike weapons systems near Russian borders.

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These issues, he added, will be at the center of Moscow’s assessment of the documents received from the US and NATO.

Lavrov told Blinken that any actions violating the commitments made at the highest level on indivisible security in the Euro-Atlantic region are unacceptable.

The two sides also touched upon some topical issues of bilateral relations.

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