Top US, Russian Officials Talk By Phone

Top US, Russian Officials Talk By Phone

July 30, 2022, 8:19 a.m.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov have held direct talks for the first time since the invasion of Ukraine.

The two officials spoke by phone on Friday.

Blinken described the talks as "frank and direct." He said he told Lavrov that Russia should keep its pledge to allow shipments of grain from Ukrainian ports.

Blinken said, "It is important and vital that Russia make good on the commitments it's made to the world. As I made clear, we're looking to see that move forward as soon as possible."

Blinken also pointed out that Russia is trying to annex Ukrainian territory. He told Lavrov that the situation is unacceptable.

He also urged Moscow to accept a US proposal to release two American citizens detained in Russia.

Russia's foreign ministry said Lavrov blamed the US and NATO for providing weapons to Ukraine. He said that is prolonging the fighting and increasing the number of victims.

He said Western sanctions have complicated the situation, including the export of Russian agricultural products.

Source: NHK

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