The State Department and the Russian Foreign Ministry seem to be reporting on different events. There will be those who praise (as they predictably do) Sergey Lavrov’s consummate restraint, suave statesmanship, nonpareil diplomatic skill set, etc. There may be others who call into question his very comprehension of reality. But Blinken and Lavrov reportedly agree on the need to “restrain and contain” Iran even as Washington arms the Kiev regime for its new offensive in the Donbass and the State Department insults and condemns Moscow over the war there.

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Secretary Blinken’s Meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met today with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Stockholm on the margins of the OSCE Ministerial. Secretary Blinken addressed Russia’s aggression towards Ukraine, including its military movements near Ukraine’s borders. The Secretary reiterated the United States’ call for Russia to pull back its forces and return to a peacetime posture and to adhere to the Minsk agreements and a ceasefire in the Donbas.

The Secretary and the Foreign Minister noted the importance of continued coordination on issues in the bilateral relationship and where interests are aligned, including when it comes to blocking Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon.

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Lavrov, Blinken discuss agenda ahead of upcoming contacts at highest level – Ministry

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov discussed the normalization of diplomatic missions of both countries, the Ukrainian settlement….

“During a conversation, substantive exchange of opinions on the broad international agenda, as well as relevant issues of Russian-American relations in the context of the planned contacts at the highest level were touched upon. The Russian side put emphasis on establishing a serious dialogue in accordance with the agreements of Russian and US Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden respectively, which were achieved in the June Summit in Geneva based on the principles of equality and mutual respect of interests,” the ministry said.

The ministry added that at their second face-to-face meeting following Blinken’s appointment as US Secretary of State, the sides paid particular attention to the Ukrainian conflict.

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West would regret missing opportunity to agree security guarantees with Moscow – diplomat

The West will have regrets if it once again misses the opportunity to negotiate with Moscow over guarantees to halt NATO’s expansion eastward, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said…on Thursday.