Blinken Plans to Meet Russian Foreign Minister in Iceland

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken plans to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during the Arctic Council summit in Iceland on Wednesday night, according to a State Department spokesman.

“The bilateral meeting will take place after the evening’s final Arctic Council event and will provide an opportunity to test the proposition of whether we can achieve a relationship with Moscow that is more stable and predictable,” the spokesman, Ned Price, said Tuesday evening.

The council’s gathering of foreign ministers, taking place in Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital, will be Blinken’s first face-to-face meeting with Lavrov since he became President Joe Biden’s secretary of State.

U.S.-Russia relations remain tense, and fears of war with Ukraine rose last month when Russian President Vladimir Putin sent tens of thousands of troops along border between the two nations, seven years after he annexed Crimea.

But Russia then announced a pullback, and Biden has mentioned a possible summit with Putin.

The Arctic Council is made up of nations around or near the Arctic Circle, including Russia and the U.S. Iceland has had the organization’s chairmanship. Russia will have that role for the next two years, according to the council’s website.

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