MOSCOW, December 2. /TASS/. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov discussed the normalization of diplomatic missions of both countries, the Ukrainian settlement, items on the international agenda and bilateral relations at the meeting in Stockholm in light of the upcoming highest-level contacts, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported on Thursday.
"During a conversation, substantive exchange of opinions on the broad international agenda, as well as relevant issues of Russian-American relations in the context of the planned contacts at the highest level were touched upon. The Russian side put emphasis on establishing a serious dialogue in accordance with the agreements of Russian and US Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden respectively, which were achieved in the June Summit in Geneva based on the principles of equality and mutual respect of interests," the ministry said.
The Russian side noted that Ukraine’s involvement in the US geopolitical games against the background of NATO’s deployment in the immediate vicinity of Russia’s borders "will have the most serious consequences" and will force [Moscow] to take retaliatory measures to redress the military-strategic balance. As Sergey Lavrov pointed out that "long-term security guarantees on our Western borders" would be the alternative that should be considered as a pressing requirement," the ministry stressed.
The ministry added that at their second face-to-face meeting following Blinken’s appointment as US Secretary of State, the sides paid particular attention to the Ukrainian conflict. "The necessity of unconditional and full implementation of the Minsk Package of Measures by Kiev, including maintaining a direct dialogue with the authorities of the LPR and the DPR, was underscored. In this regard, it was stated that the latest initiatives to alter the internal Ukrainian legislation directly contradicts the Minsk agreements," the ministry concluded.