Antony Blinken: When It Comes to Relations With the US, Russia Decides

Having positive relations with the United States is entirely Russia’s choice, according to Secretary of State Antony Blinken said following a meeting last week with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

“A more stable, predictable relationship with them, I think, would be good for us, good for them, and I’d even argue good for the world,” Blinken said.

Blinken, appearing on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” said he and Lavrov had an “instructive, very businesslike conversation over the course of nearly two hours.”

Blinken said he made it clear on behalf of President Joe Biden, the U.S. would like to work cooperatively with Putin’s government on matters such as the constant warfare in Afghanistan, saying it would be good for all concerned.

“And there are clearly areas where it’s in our mutual interest to find ways to cooperate, whether it’s on Afghanistan, whether it’s on so-called strategic stability or arms control agreements, whether it’s on dealing with climate change,” Blinken said.

He added, “It’s really important to be very clear about what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and, ultimately, it is up to Russia to decide whether it wants to have that more predictable, stable relationship. We need to test the proposition.”

Several areas of concern have arisen in the past decade, including Russian military actions in Ukraine, allegations of widespread Russia interference in American elections, and Putin’s persecution of opposition figures such as Alexei Navalny.

Blinken said the administration had no qualms about calling out Russia and defending American interests if Russia pursues “reckless and aggressive actions” that destabilize the world.

“The president has been very resolute on this,” Blinken told Zakaria.

President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin are expected to take part in a summit at a yet-to-be-named, third-party country sometime this summer.

Tensions with between Russia and the U.S. currently remain high due to alleged election interference, the SolarWinds hack, along with the recent Russian military buildup at the Ukraine border.

Source Newsmax

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