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Blinken urges Putin to choose ‘peaceful path’ on Ukraine

By AFP
January 20, 2022
Blinken urges Putin to choose ‘peaceful path’ on Ukraine

KYIV: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to choose the "peaceful path" on Ukraine, as he visited Kyiv to show support before crunch talks with Russia later this week.

In Ukraine, in advance of talks with European allies in Berlin and his Russian counterpart in Geneva on Friday, Blinken urged Putin to dispel fears he is planning an invasion of his pro-Western neighbour.

"I strongly, strongly hope that we can keep this on a diplomatic and peaceful path, but ultimately, that’s going to be President Putin’s decision," Blinken said at the US embassy after he landed in the Ukrainian capital.

With tens of thousands of Russian troops massed on the Ukrainian border, tensions between Moscow and the West have reached a post-Cold War high and there are growing fears of a major conflict in Eastern Europe. Moscow insists it has no plans to invade, but is demanding wide-ranging security guarantees -- including a ban on Ukraine ever joining Nato -- in exchange for deescalation.

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