The head of the US State Department, Anthony Blinken, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday, July 29, held the first ever wars in Ukraine telephone conversation. The conversation took place at the initiative of the American side, the Russian Foreign Ministry noted.
One of the topics was the war in Ukraine. The head of the State Department, in a conversation with the Russian minister, indicated that the world community expects Russia to fulfill its obligations in deal on the export of Ukrainian grain. Lavrov also said that the situation in the field of world food security is complicated by US sanctions against the Russian Federation.
Russian plans to annex new Ukrainian territories
In addition, Blinken noted that the world will never recognize annexations of new Ukrainian territories, and if this happens, Russia will face additional punitive measures. In turn, Lavrov stressed that Russia intends to fulfill all the “goals and objectives” of the war in Ukraine. Earlier, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry announced the expansion of the “geographical tasks” of the war, linking this with the possible supply of long-range weapons to Kyiv by Western countries.
“It is very important that the Russians hear about this personally from us – not only that we do not recognize this (annexation. – Red.), but also that it will cost Russia dearly in connection with significant sanctions, which will be introduced against her,” Blinken told reporters after a conversation with Lavrov.
According to Blinken, Russia is preparing for “dummy referendums” by trying to “create the appearance that people in these regions of Ukraine are somehow striving to become part of Russia.” These votes are organized for the sake of the desire of Russian President Vladimir Putin to “swallow as much Ukrainian territory as possible,” the head of the US State Department added.
Trading Greiner and Whelan for Booth?
Another topic was the possible return to the homeland of US citizens in custody in Russia – a basketball player accused of drug smuggling Brittney Griner and convicted espionage director of security at BorgWarner Paul Whelan. According to Blinken, he urged Moscow to accept the conditions for the release of the Americans.
In turn, Lavrov suggested that Blinken return to “quiet diplomacy” on the issue of prisoner exchange, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. A few days earlier, it became known about the proposal of the administration of US President Joseph Biden to exchange Americans for a citizen of the Russian Federation convicted in the United States. Victor Bout.