US warns of ‘united, swift and severe response’ if Russia invades Ukraine-.mp4
Moscow would face a “swift, severe and a united response” if it invaded Ukraine, US secretary of state Antony Blinken warned as talks with Russia’s foreign minister broke up with no breakthroughs.
The pair agreed to keep up diplomatic contacts, and Mr Blinken described the talks with Sergei Lavrov as frank and useful.
He said Washington had agreed to provide a written response to Russia over its demands for a pledge that Ukraine will never join Nato.
“We didn’t expect any major breakthroughs to happen today, but I believe we are now on a clearer path to understanding each other’s positions,” Mr Blinken told reporters after the 90-minute meeting with his Russian counterpart.
He said Mr Lavrov had repeated Russia’s insistence that it has no plans to invade Ukraine but stressed that the US and its allies were not convinced of that. “We’re looking at what is visible to all, and it is deeds and actions and not words that make all the difference,” he said.
Mr Lavrov called the talks “constructive and useful”.
Key talks break up
Talks between Mr Blinken and Mr Lavrov have broken up after 90 minutes with no clear breakthroughs.
There was no apparent movement on either side, and the US secretary of state said the west remained resolute in rejecting Russia’s most important demands. But he told Mr Lavrov that the US would present Russia with written responses to its proposals next week and suggested the two men would be likely to meet again shortly after that.
Jane Dalton21 January 2022 14:06
No breakthroughs in talks, says Blinken
US secretary of state Antony Blinken has said he does not expect any breakthroughs in talks with Russia on Ukraine, but that the two sides are on a “clearer path” to understanding each other’s concerns.
He said Sergei Lavrov repeated Russia’s insistence that it has no plans to invade Ukraine but stressed that the US and its allies were not convinced of that. “We’re looking at what is visible to all, and it is deeds and actions and not words that make all the difference,” Mr Blinken said.
Jane Dalton21 January 2022 13:25
Russia and US could hold more talks next month
Russia and the United States could hold another meeting next month to discuss Moscow’s demands for security guarantees, Russia’s RIA news agency quoted a source in the Russian delegation as saying after talks in Geneva.
The source reportedly said Moscow could take a few weeks to study Washington’s response to its demands, which it expects to receive next week.
Jane Dalton21 January 2022 13:20
US ‘due to respond to Russia’s demands next week’
The threat of war on Ukraine’s border may have been delayed by a few days as Washington is thought to have agreed to provide written responses to Russian demands next week.
Russia’s foreign minister called the talks in Geneva “constructive and useful” but said: “I can’t say whether we are on the right track or not.”
Sergei Lavrov said the US had pledged to give a response to Russian demands on whether Ukraine would join Nato.
Jane Dalton21 January 2022 13:11
‘I think there will be a war’: Ukrainians wait for the worst
People in Ukraine have been living under the shadow of war for years and there had been a feeling among many that the worst predictions will not come through. But that appears to be changing, at least among some.
One resident warned: “People in Europe cannot see how serious things are becoming. But it will affect other countries as well.”
Another said: “I never thought it was over when I returned to Kyiv after the last war and the Russian occupation. They had the Minsk agreement and all that, but there was always fighting, killing going on.” Our world affairs editor Kim Sengupta explains why some people think war is inevitable:
Jane Dalton21 January 2022 13:00
West would punish Russia, No 10 warns
The west would punish Russia if it took any “destabilising action” in Ukraine, Downing Street says.
A spokesman for Boris Johnson said the prime minister welcomed today’s talks, adding: “I think that the Prime Minister has been clear that any destabilising action by Russia in Ukraine would be a strategic mistake and would have significant consequences.
“I’ve talked about the fact that we’re working closely with our partners, including the US, to draw up a package of sweeping measures to make sure that the Russian government is punished if it crosses the line.”
Jane Dalton21 January 2022 12:32
Russia invites British defence minister to Moscow
As the UK continues to mount pressure on Russia amid the threat of invasion of Ukraine, the Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu has invited his British counterpart Ben Wallace to visit Moscow.
The invitation was to hold talks on security and easing tensions in Europe, the Interfax news agency cited the ministry as saying on Friday.
This week, Mr Wallace had extended a similar invitation to Mr Shoigu, inviting him to visit London to discuss issues related to mutual security concerns amid a standoff between Moscow and the West over Ukraine and its Nato aspirations.
Shweta Sharma21 January 2022 12:03
Blinken demands release of two US citizens held in Russia
Antony Blinken has demanded the release of Paul Whelan and Trevor Reed, two US citizens detained in Russia, during the talks with his Russian counterpart in Geneva.
The US secretary of state raised the cases and repeated Washington’s call for their release during his talks with Sergei Lavrov in Geneva.
The two American tourists were arrested and convicted in Russia without credible evidence, Mr Blinken said.
“We again ask Russia to do the right thing and let them come home,” he added.
Whelan, who holds US, British, Canadian and Irish passports, was convicted of spying in June 2020 by a Russian court. He was sentenced to 16 years in jail.
Reed was sentenced to nine years in jail after he was found guilty of endangering the lives of two policemen in Moscow in an inebriated condition in 2019.
Both deny any wrongdoing and remain in Russian prison.
Shweta Sharma21 January 2022 11:42
Why would Russia invade Ukraine?
With 100,000 Russian troops stationed near the Ukrainian border, fears are growing that president Vladimir Putin will decide to invade.
The threat comes eight years after Russia annexed Crimea and sparked fighting in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine, where a low-level conflict, which has killed more than 14,000 people, is still rumbling on between Kyiv and separatists.
The Independent’s Rory Sullivan details why would Russia invade Ukraine:
Shweta Sharma21 January 2022 11:30
Lavrov demands ‘concrete answers’ to proposal in Geneva
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov echoed Antony Blinken’s remarks that Moscow did not “expect a breakthrough at these negotiations either”.
But what Russia expects is “concrete answers to our concrete proposals”, he said.
Moscow has demanded a written answer to their proposal calling for concessions from Nato over the western alliance’s relationship with Ukraine, a former Soviet republic.
The Russian Foreign Ministry on Thursday laid out its planned agenda for the meeting: texts of two proposals by Moscow for new treaties with both the United States and Nato on security guarantees.
Shweta Sharma21 January 2022 11:14