Blinken announces US has delivered written responses to Russia over Ukraine crisis

The response was delivered in person to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs by US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan. The written document intended to address concerns Moscow has publicly released and outlined areas where the US has said it sees potential for progress with Russia — arms control, transparency and stability, the top US diplomat told reporters at the State Department.

Blinken said the US response to Russia “sets out a serious diplomatic path forward should Russia choose it,” telling reporters Wednesday that he expects to have a follow-up discussion with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the coming days now that the document has been received in Moscow.

“The document we’ve delivered includes concerns of the United States and our allies and partners about Russia’s actions that undermine security, a principled and pragmatic evaluation of the concerns that Russia has raised, and our own proposals for areas where we may be able to find common ground,” Blinken said.

Blinken declined to detail specifics presented to Moscow, but he said the US response reiterated what the US and NATO have said publicly — that they will uphold NATO’s “open-door policy,” rejecting Moscow’s demands that NATO commit to never admitting Ukraine.

“There will be no change,” Blinken said of US and NATO support of the alliance’s open-door policy.

“We make clear that there are core principles that we are committed to uphold and defend, including Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and the right of states to choose their own security arrangements and alliances,” he added.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price said Tuesday that the US had consulted closely with allies and partners, including Ukraine, in crafting the response, saying at a State Department briefing, “There will be no surprises. There will be no surprises for NATO. There will be no surprises for our European allies. There will be no surprises for our Ukrainian partners.”

NATO is sending its own written response to Moscow. Ukraine also received a copy of the US proposals.

Blinken said the US document was shared with Congress and that he would brief congressional leaders later in the day.

Blinken said the US would not release its own document publicly, “because we think that diplomacy has the best chance to succeed if we provide space for confidential talks.”

“We hope and expect that Russia will have the same view and will take our proposal seriously,” Blinken said, adding that “there should be no doubt about our seriousness of purpose when it comes to diplomacy.”

The Russian foreign ministry confirmed that it received the response. “Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Alexander V. Grushko received US Ambassador to Moscow John Sullivan at his request,” the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.

This story is breaking and will be updated