- US Secretary of State Anthony Blinkin met with the chief Russian diplomat, Sergey Lavrov.
- Blinken expressed concern about the health of Kremlin opponent Alexei Navalny.
- There was no information on whether the two ministers also discussed a possible summit between Putin and Biden in June.
The US State Department announced that in addition to “suppressing” the opposition, bilateral talks on Wednesday evening in Reykjavik, Iceland, dealt with Russian military demonstrations in and near Ukraine.
“It is no secret that we have disagreements.”
Blinken emphasized US President Biden’s determination to defend the interests of the United States and its allies against Russia’s actions. According to the two sides, the meeting was about normalizing relations.
According to the United States Department, Blinken stressed that the United States is striving for “a more stable and predictable relationship with Moscow.” “It’s no secret that we have our differences,” Blinken told the cameras at the beginning of the conversation.
Relations between the two superpowers have been tense for a long time. Shortly after Biden proposed the summit in April, the United States expelled ten Russian diplomats and imposed new sanctions in response to pirate attacks attributed to Moscow and interference in the US elections. Russia responded by expelling ten American diplomats and imposing sanctions on the United States. In addition, the government in Moscow issued entry bans to senior US government officials.
Even Lavrov said: “Our assessments of the international situation differ greatly. We have completely different approaches to the tasks that we have to solve in order to normalize the situation.” However, there are international issues in which both sides have similar interests and opportunities for cooperation exist.
There was no information on whether the two ministers also discussed holding a possible summit between Kremlin President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden in a European country in June. The Kremlin has not yet agreed with Biden’s proposal and has justified his hesitation with an ongoing analysis of the situation.
Sanctions against Russian ships
The US government waives sanctions against the controversial Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 2. There should be no punitive measures against the company operating in Zug and its German managers. The United States government cites “national interest” as the reason. However, among other things, new sanctions will be imposed on Russian ships participating in the construction of the pipeline.
SRF 4 News, May 20, 2021; 5:00 pm.; sda / dpa / bisv; blac