Topline

There are no “signs of real seriousness” from Russia that it’s pursuing peace in Ukraine, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said Tuesday, throwing cold water on hopes on reports that Russia and Ukraine made significant progress towards a peace agreement during Tuesday negotiations in Istanbul.

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The US has seen no indication negotiations between Russia and Ukraine are “moving forward in an effective way,” Blinken said during a press conference in Morocco.

Blinken’s comments came hours after Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin said Russia will “fundamentally” reduce military activity in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv and the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv and both sides shared progress toward holding a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Blinken said the announced pullbacks in Kyiv and Chernihiv may be intended to “deflect and deceive” from Russia’s true intentions, and Medinsky seemed to echo support Blinken’s sentiments, clarifying he did not mean a ceasefire is imminent in a Tuesday interview with Russian state media.