Secretary Blinken does not expect to see breakthroughs in talks with Russia this week

Geneva will host talks between Russia and the United States on Monday.

In a Sunday interview win CNN, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he doesn’t expect to see any breakthroughs in the meetings with Russia.

He said “it’s hard to see making actual progress, as opposed to talking, in an atmosphere of escalation with a gun to Ukraine’s head. So, if we’re actually going to make progress, we’re going to have to see de-escalation, Russia pulling back from the threat that it currently poses to Ukraine.”

“First of all, why are we here? We’re here because repeatedly over the last decade, Russia has committed acts of aggression against neighbors — Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine in 2014, and now the renewed threat about Ukraine today.

Second, there are large principles at stake that go to the fundamentals of international peace and security; The principle that one country can’t change the borders of another by force. The principle that one country can’t dictate to another its foreign policy and choices, including with whom it will associate, the principle that one country can’t exert a sphere of influence to subjugate its neighbours. All of that is on the table,” he told CNN.

On Monday, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and her Russian opposite number, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, will hold talks on European security and the Ukraine conflict.