Before the start of negotiations in Geneva, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov voiced their expectations of the meeting. They were different, according to a correspondent of UNN.
The Russian minister was the first to take the floor. He said that he had studied "a huge amount of materials" from the State Department regarding Russian disinformation.
Lavrov said he hoped that "someone at the State Department was not busy and concentrated after all on the essence of our proposals, which we passed on to you."
"You mentioned in one of your recent statements on the European tour that you were not expecting a breakthrough from this meeting. We are not expecting a breakthrough from this meeting either. We are expecting answers to our proposals. The proposals are very concrete, and we expect the same concrete answers in line and in full compliance with the OSCE commitments made at the highest level on indivisibility and security. I do not want any country to strengthen its security at the expense of security of any other country," Lavrov said.
Anthony Blinken said this dialogue is a continuation of efforts to de-escalate tensions and prevent Russian aggression against Ukraine.
"I come from consultations with allies and partners as well as from Ukraine itself. It is also part of an ongoing effort of close cooperation, coordination and consultation with all of our allies and partners who share our deep concerns about the moment we are in," Blinken said.
Allies are equally committed to the path of diplomacy and dialogue to try to resolve differences with Russia, he said. But they are also "prepared, however, if that proves impossible and Russia decides to continue its aggression against Ukraine, for a united, swift and tough response."
"I want to take this opportunity to share directly with you the shared views of allies and partners, as well as specific ideas for addressing some of the concerns you have raised, as well as the deep concerns some of us have about Russia's actions... This is a critical moment. You're right, we don't expect to resolve our differences today. But I hope and expect that we can test whether the path of diplomacy, of dialogue, remains open. We are determined to pursue that path," he concluded.
The U.S. State Department had earlier announced that U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov would hold talks on January 21 in Geneva. Before the meeting with his Russian counterpart, Blinken visited Ukraine and Germany.