Anthony Blinken and Sergei Lavrov held their first bilateral meeting in Reykjavik to pave the way for a Russia-US summit and try to put an end to the “unhealthy climate” that has developed in relations between Moscow and Washington in recent years. It took place on the margins of the Arctic Council held in the Icelandic capital on Wednesday and Thursday. The parties called the two-hour talks “constructive” and “honest”.
“In our opinion, if the leaders of Russia and the United States can work together, cooperate, then our peoples, the world as a whole will become a safer and more reliable place. This is what we are striving for,” Blinken said.
During the meeting, the head of the State Department expressed concern about the state of health of opposition leader Alexei Navalny and the military presence of Russia on the territory of Ukraine and at its borders.
“We are ready to discuss all issues without exception,” the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry said in turn, “on the understanding that this discussion will be honest, with facts on the table and, of course, on a mutually respectful basis.”
A tête-à-tête between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin may take place in June in one of the European countries. This idea was put forward by the White House last month, but it has not yet been publicly agreed upon. The Russian media suggested Switzerland as the most likely venue for the meeting.