Blinken, Lavrov Set For First Meeting Amid Tense Times

May 19, 2021 04:03 GMT – By RFE/RL

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are set to hold talks in Iceland on May 19 amid deteriorating relations between the global rivals.

U.S. and Russian officials said the two top diplomats will meet on the sidelines of an Arctic Council gathering in the Icelandic capital, Reykjavik, to prepare for a potential summit between Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin next month.

But Blinken and Lavrov are likely to have more on their agenda in their first meeting since the U.S. diplomat took office following Biden’s January 20 inauguration.

U.S.-Russian relations are threatening to return to low levels of the Cold War era.

The two powers have multiple issues dividing them — including Moscow’s military buildup in and around Ukraine, maneuvering for position in the Arctic, Russia’s treatment of opposition figure Aleksei Navalny, Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline project through Europe, and U.S. accusations of Russian cyberwarfare and interference in Western electoral processes.

“It would be our preference to have a more stable and more predictable relationship with Russia,” Blinken said on May 18.

“At the same time,” he added, “we’ve been very clear that if Russia chooses to take reckless or aggressive actions that target our interests or those of our allies and partners, we’ll respond. Not for purposes of seeking conflict or escalating but because such challenges cannot be allowed to go forward with impunity.”

Blinken has warned that Washington is concerned over a military buildup in the Arctic, a region of strategic importance to world powers.

“We have concerns about some of the increased military activities in the Arctic that increase the…prospects of accidents…and undermine the shared goal of a peaceful and sustainable future for the region,” Blinken told reporters in Reykjavik on May 18, a day before the start of a meeting of the eight-member Arctic Council in the Icelandic capital.

“What we need to avoid is a militarization of the region,” he added.

A day earlier, Lavrov — Russia’s long-standing senior diplomat — said, “Apparently, a [U.S.] decision was made to promote stable, predictable relations with Russia.”

“However, if this includes constant and predictable sanctions, that’s not what we need. Our attitude toward the U.S. includes the hope that normalized relations will be based on specific actions rather than words of which we have heard too many.”

Blinken has said their meeting is an important opportunity to test whether Washington and Moscow can find common ground and work together on other issues — such as climate change, the Middle East, Iran, and North Korea.

Reykjavik is the site of the famous 1986 summit between President Ronald Reagan and Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

12 comments

  • I’m sure Laughrov is planning on taking poor Blinken to the shed today after Blinken’s boss destroyed his credibility today by reversing sanctions on ruSSo-nazis building Nord Stream 2. We should rename Nord Stream 2 to the Biden pipeline because he owns it now.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ukraine are screwed if Biden has sold out to Muscovy. I’m always a little sceptical when only one source carried this news, and not even a main stream source at that. It was quickly picked up by Muscovy and 112 in Ukraine, so I’m hoping this is just some Russian propaganda before Blinken meets the liar in chief. We’ll soon find out I guess.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Multiple sources appear to confirm. CNN has : ‘The Biden administration has decided against sanctioning the company in charge of building Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, despite strongly opposing the project, according to two sources familiar with the decision, signaling that it is prioritizing unity with allies over concerns about a potential geopolitical threat….’
        Biden has prioritised relations with fucking Germany over Ukraine. He’s also reversed Trump’s decision to withdraw or cut back US troops from Germany.
        Ukraine is used to treachery from shit countries like France and Germany, but now the US too?

        Liked by 2 people

      • Its all over the place now. Glowing headlines that Biden is repairing ties with Germany and Russia after that bad orange man destroyed the ties.

        Liked by 2 people

        • The crazy thing about this BS, is that Merkel is on her way out, and so might her party if the Greens win this years elections. They have promised to cancel this pipeline indefinitely. So where will that leave US foreign policy?

          Liked by 2 people

          • God only knows. Sleepy Joe has surrounded himself with Socialists, BLM, Marxists, Social media oligarchs and lawyers. Nobody from business or military at all. What we’ve seen so far is bowing to illegal aliens coming from Mexico, a reset with Iran, favors for Russia and Germany, American oil and gas cut off, tons of new Marxist social policies, people being paid to stay home and not work, refusing to look into the origins of COVID, a federal takeover of local elections, race education infiltrating the schools and removal of sanctions put in by the previous administration.
            It would be my guess that you can expect everything opposite of what Trump did. For example, the US is now leaving Afghanistan. It didn’t get much coverage but Putin is queued up to move in and take everything like he did in Syria. Now more verbal support for Russian sanctions but kinetic waivers for Russian sanctions. We Americans are easily distracted at home too, just throw in some fire or racism and our necks will snap.

            Liked by 1 person

  • No doubt we will see a beaming Lavrov shaking hands with Blinken and Blinken treating a poisonous toad from a murderous fascist regime as an equal.
    Already the Biden regime has allowed Germany to deprive Ukraine of $billions of revenue and given the putlerstanis a much freer hand to invade Ukraine.
    Never in history has any nation suffered at the hands of brutal imperialists for so long and never has the response of the civilised world been so muted.
    The Ukrainian people must feel so alone and unloved. My heart goes out to them.
    Contrast the indifference/hostility towards Ukraine with that of the British hard left’s attitude towards Israel. It has now managed to mobilise the same army of street thugs that turned out to riot and attack the police over a killing of a career criminal 4000 miles away in Minneapolis, to protest outside its embassy against Israel, which is only defending itself against savages.
    In the latest London riot, a muzloid policewoman hugs a Pali protestor and shouts ‘Free Free Palestine’. What if a counter-demonstrator with pro-Israel views was attacked by the same thugs? Would she try to help the victim, or join in and give the protestor a good kicking?
    In the DT today, putlerite trolls are trying to claim that putler, who supplies weapons to murder Jews, is somehow a friend of Israel. Here is a quote from one :
    “Russia is in reality very close with Israel where it counts and Putin has nothing to gain by siding with anti semitism. Most of us know where this c rap comes from.”
    Total bullshit of course. Russia is the home of anti-Semitism, as can be proved from the Russian forgery : ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’, which is still quoted today by the palis.
    There has never been a demonstration in London of any sort outside the Russian embassy since putler’s regime began. Nothing has stirred the activists: the Moscow region apartment bombings, the sacking of Grozny, the countless murders of dissidents, the invasion of Georgia, the bombing of hospitals and aid convoys in Syria, the gassings in Syria, the invasion of Ukraine and the savage war crimes committed by Neanderthal putlerstani invaders. All of these atrocities and they are unmoved.

    Liked by 2 people

  • They agreed on NS2 already……….ruble is the real money these days……in politics…. unfortianely.

    Liked by 2 people

  • The Biden maladminstration is a big cypher. It is worthless on the world scene.

    Liked by 1 person

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