U.S. secretary of state meets with Russian foreign minister over military build up in Ukraine

Tensions mount over Russia's military build up along the border of Ukraine.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a high stakes meeting with his counterpart from Russia amid fears of a possible invasion into Ukraine.

“We are all of us equally committed to the path of diplomacy and dialogue,” Blinken said.

And that dialogue channel is still open, Blinken said as he demanded Russia pull back its $100,000 troops on Ukraine’s border.

Russia’s foreign minister Surgey Lavrov said Moscow had never threatened Ukraine or its people despite the military build-up along their border. Russia wants commitment from the United States that Ukraine won’t be allowed to join NATO and that the military alliance won’t expand further east. But both demands are non-starters for the U.S.

Bliken said: “There are basically two paths ahead – one is through diplomacy and dialogue the other is Russia aggression which will have serious consequences.”

Those consequences include harsh sanctions from the United States and its allies. As the White House made clear, Russia will be held accountable for any incursion in Ukraine.

Bliken took Russia’s response back to D.C. where he’ll meet with Biden and members of Congress.

“In terms of the president and his role – I think part of that will be discussing with Secretary Blinken and the national security team what the appropriate his next steps are,” said Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary.

Biden will get the briefing from Camp David this weekend as they prepare a written response about their concerns.

About the Author:

Ben Kennedy is an Emmy Award-winning Washington Bureau Chief for Local 10 News. He has more than a decade of reporting experience nationwide.