US, Russian diplomats meet amid rising tensions over Ukraine

Washington D.C. Bureau

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — In Geneva Monday, U.S. and Russian officials will start high-stakes talks to defuse tensions as Russia continues to build up its military presence on the border with Ukraine.

 On ABC’s “This Week” Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said the U.S. and its allies will lay out the economic, financial and other consequences if Russia chooses to invade Ukraine.

“We’re about to test the proposition of which path President Putin wants to take,” said Blinken.

Even though Blinken said he does not expect any major breakthroughs during this week’s diplomatic talks in Geneva, the secretary of state noted the U.S. is still open to working on finding solutions.

“If they are proceeding in good faith, we think we can make progress,” Blinken said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Both U.S. and Russian officials have already dampened hopes of a deal. After a working dinner Sunday, one top Russian diplomat predicted talks will be difficult.

There are currently around 100,000 Russian troops stationed near the border with Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is demanding NATO stop its expansion in eastern Europe and the U.S. pull some troops from the region.

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