Blinken and Lavrov to carry first high-level assembly of Biden’s presidency as US-Russia tensions simmer

Blinken and Lavrov to hold first high-level meeting of Biden's presidency as US-Russia tensions simmer

Blinken and Lavrov will meet on the sidelines of an Arctic Council meeting in Iceland without a stringent time limit or any topics off-limits, sources familiar with the plans for the meeting explained. The discussion is expected to cover a wide range of substantive issues between the two nations ahead of a possible summit between Biden and President Vladimir Putin early this summer — but many of them are fraught.
The two men are meeting a day after news broke that the US will not sanction the company in charge of building Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, despite strongly opposing the project with a State Department spokesperson calling it a “Russian malign influence project” that “threatens European energy security and that of Ukraine and eastern flank NATO Allies and partners.”

The top US diplomat is expected to directly raise a range of aggressive Russian activities, including the Solar Winds hack that targeted private businesses and government, Moscow’s election interference,…