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U.S.' Blinken had 'frank' discussion with Russia

Blinken said after the talks in Geneva that Washington had agreed to provide written comments to Russia after Moscow demanded security guarantees, including a pledge that Ukraine will never be able to join NATO.

He described Friday's (January 21) talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, intended to reduce tensions that have risen since Russia massed troops near Ukraine's border, as frank and useful.

Western states fear Moscow is planning a new assault on Ukraine after sending in forces into the former Soviet republic in 2014 to annex the Crimea peninsula. Russia denies planning an attack but says it could take unspecified military action if its security demands are not met.

Blinken said Washington had sought during Friday's talks to determine whether Moscow was prepared to take a diplomatic path to defuse tensions over Ukraine.

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