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State Dept: Blinken and Lavrov To Meet in Iceland Next Week

  • US Secretary of State Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov to meet on the sidelines of the Arctic Council meeting in Reykjavik on May 20.

    US Secretary of State Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov to meet on the sidelines of the Arctic Council meeting in Reykjavik on May 20. | Photo: Twitter/@TRTWorldNow

Published 12 May 2021
Opinion

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov have agreed to meet next week, which will become the first time the two top diplomats will meet since President Biden’s inauguration.

The State Department announced that Blinken and Lavrov agreed on a phone call that the two will meet in Reykjavik, Iceland, on the sidelines of the Arctic Council meeting. The two foreign ministers plan to discuss an array of issues, including the detention of two Americans in Russia and U.S. policy toward the DPRK (North Korea). 

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“Secretary Blinken reiterated President Biden’s resolve to protect U.S. citizens and act firmly in defense of U.S. interests in response to actions by Russia that harm us or our allies. He called on Russia to release Paul Whelan and Trevor Reed to return home to their families. The Secretary provided the Minister an overview of U.S. policy toward the DPRK, and the two committed to continued discussion on issues of mutual concern,” the State Department said.

The meeting between the top two diplomats comes as both countries attempt to arrange a meeting between Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The White House has noted a possibility of a meeting between Biden and Putin next month while the U.S. president is in Europe for a Group of Seven summit, though nothing has been confirmed to date.

The discussion between Blinken and Lavrov could touch on several high-profile topics, including Russia’s expanded military presence along its border with Ukraine and the situation of opposition leader Alexey Navalny. Blinken may also try to raise what the U.S. alleges to be Moscow's interference in past presidential elections.

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