(CREDITS TO CNN) US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday in Stockholm, according to a State Department official.
Blinken will meet also meet with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on the margins of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Ministerial Council meeting, the official said.
Blinken reiterated a warning Tuesday for Russia to stay away from aggression in Ukraine, saying “any renewed aggression can trigger serious consequences.”
Blinken’s comments come amid concerns that Russia could mount another invasion in Ukraine as Moscow’s military forces build up near the border. He made the remarks at a joint press conference with Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs in Riga, where he is attending a meeting of NATO foreign ministers aimed at addressing the massing of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine.
“It’s increasingly belligerent rhetoric, it’s recent buildup of forces. It’s unusual troop movements along Ukraine’s border,” Blinken said Tuesday, adding “I’ll have a lot more to say about that tomorrow after I’ve had a chance to consult with our allies in the NATO meetings that started this afternoon.”
He added, “But for now, let me just reiterate that any escalatory actions by Russia would be of great concern to the United States as they would to Latvia and any renewed aggression can trigger serious consequences.”
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also warned Tuesday that any future Russian aggression towards Ukraine will come at a “high price.”
The number of Russian units in the area has increased by about two-thirds in recent weeks, an official previously told CNN. But US officials believe that the military activity in western Russia is irregular, multiple sources previously told CNN. The Biden administration is also weighing sending military advisers and new equipment including weaponry to Ukraine to prepare allies for a possible Russian invasion, multiple sources familiar with the deliberations told CNN last week.
Last month, CIA Director Bill Burns held a rare conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow via telephone to convey “serious concerns” about military buildup.