No More Diplomacy: Talks With Russia Cancelled

On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said a conference with his Russian counterpart, Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov, set for Thursday is canceled, due to Moscow’s move to acknowledge Ukraine’s rebel areas as autonomous entities.

The Details

Blinken told journalists immediately after a discussion with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in Washington that a discussion with Lavrov would not go through as planned, considering the circumstances.

“Now that the attack is underway and Russia stated clearly its total rejection of negotiation,” Blinken added, “it does not make logical sense to proceed with that conference at this moment.”

“I spoke with our allies around the world, and everyone is in agreement.”

The announcement comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin revealed on Monday he would acknowledge the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, as well as the Luhansk Founding of the Republic.

These are two Kremlin-backed communities that accuse Ukrainian forces of having to shell and inflame tensions, claims Ukraine has categorically denied.

Authorities in the United States and Ukraine have warned Moscow may invent “pretexts” to legitimize an attack on Ukraine.

Putin signed a law on Monday, permitting Russian military soldiers to enter the Donbas area of eastern Ukraine, stating they will “keep the peace.” Russian special operations units have been detected in Donbas many times since the Crimean incident in 2014.

Blinken stated the US will continue to pursue diplomacy “if Moscow’s approach improves” and if Russia is “willing to take concrete steps to give the intelligence community confidence it is serious about trying to find a peaceful resolution.”

He went on to say he would do everything he could “to avoid an even worse-case situation, an all-out attack on Ukraine’s entire territory, along with its capital.”

“However, we will not enable Russia to assume the guise of diplomacy while speeding up its march toward confrontation and war,” Blinken told reporters.

What Comes Next?

Blinken stated he informed Lavrov of his decision to abandon their appointment in a letter. Russia was struck with more sanctions on Tuesday for sending troops into Ukraine’s rebel territories.

The US, the European Union, Canada, as well as the United Kingdom, have all announced intentions to target bankers and the wealthy, while Germany put a stop to a major gas project from Moscow.

Despite estimations from western authorities that Russia mobilized more than 150,000 troops along the Ukrainian border, Moscow consistently denied that it is plotting an attack.

Satellite footage from the US firm, Maxa, indicates multiple additional military and equipment installations in western Russia during the last 24 hours. It also indicates more than 100 trucks at a small airstrip in southern Belarus, which borders Ukraine.

On Tuesday, Biden declared, “This is the start of a Russian invasion.”