Ukraine crisis: US and Russia lower temperature with 'candid' talks in Geneva

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has warned Russia of 'swift and severe' consequences if Russia decides to invade Ukraine. The US and Russia are holding talks in Switzerland aimed at easing tensions. Read more:

1/22/2022 1:40:00 PM

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has warned Russia of 'swift and severe' consequences if Russia decides to invade Ukraine. The US and Russia are holding talks in Switzerland aimed at easing tensions. Read more:

The crunch talks between Washington and Moscow come amid moves to defuse tensions over the former Soviet republic, with an estimated 100,000 Russian troops amassed on its border, amid fears the Kremlin is preparing an invasion, leading to a bloody conflict.

, if it would be"useful and productive".Mr Lavrov described the talks in Geneva as"constructive and useful" and said the US had agreed to provide written responses to Russian demands on Ukraine and NATO next week.But he said:"I can't say whether we are on the right path or not.

"We will see when we get the American responses."Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player4:26Russia and the West: What's going on?Mr Lavrov also said he hoped"emotions would cool down" over Ukraine and repeated the claim that Russia posed no threat to its former Soviet neighbour.

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Joe Biden , if it would be"useful and productive". Mr Lavrov described the talks in Geneva as"constructive and useful" and said the US had agreed to provide written responses to Russian demands on Ukraine and NATO next week. But he said:"I can't say whether we are on the right path or not. "We will see when we get the American responses." Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player 4:26 Russia and the West: What's going on? Mr Lavrov also said he hoped"emotions would cool down" over Ukraine and repeated the claim that Russia posed no threat to its former Soviet neighbour. Moscow has demanded that NATO promise Ukraine will never be allowed to join the military alliance. It also wants the allies to remove troops and military equipment from parts of eastern Europe. However, the US and its allies have rejected these demands and repeatedly promised"severe" consequences including tough economic sanctions - though not military action - against Russia if an invasion goes ahead. It came as the US treasury department slapped new sanctions on four Ukrainian officials, accused of being at the centre of a Kremlin effort to damage Ukraine's ability to"independently function". Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player 0:38 Russia seized control of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula in 2014 and backed a separatist insurgency in the eastern part of the country, that has claimed more than 14,000 lives. Mr Putin has faced limited international consequences for those moves, but the West says a new invasion would be different. Mr Blinken has also sought to stress US unity with its partners after US President Joe Biden drew widespread criticism for saying retaliation for Russian aggression in Ukraine would depend on the circumstances and that would see a lesser response. Follow the Daily podcast on