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Blinken: U.S.-Russia Could Still Find Consensus

Two weeks of intensive diplomacy, including Blinken’s request for a last-minute meeting in Geneva last Friday with his Russian counterpart, have failed to produce any breakthroughs.
Blinken: U.S.-Russia could still find consensus
Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Geneva last week. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

Axios

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday there are still areas in which the U.S. and Russia may be able to find consensus, such as on arms control and the placement of missile systems in Europe, despite their standoff over Ukraine.

Why it matters: Even with those diplomatic possibilities, the secretary said the U.S. will not compromise “by one iota” on Russia’s highest priority demand — freezing NATO expansion, especially for Ukraine and Georgia — which would breach the alliance’s “open-door” policy.

Driving the news: During a round of Sunday show appearances, Blinken warned Russia is seeking to reestablish a “sphere of influence” to “subjugate” its neighbors to its will.

  • That violates international norms that have helped keep peace in Europe since the collapse of the Soviet Union, he said.
  • It also heightens the stakes far beyond the borders of Ukraine, the secretary argued on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
  • “If we allow those things to go forward and stand with impunity, then that opens a Pandora’s box that countries well beyond Europe will see and maybe decide to act on.”

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