Blinken also reiterated Washington’s demands for Russia to de-escalate the situation by removing its forces from the border area, something that Moscow has flatly refused to do. And, Blinken said he wouldn’t give Russia the written response it expects to its demands when he and Lavrov meet in Geneva.

The United States and Russia dug in their heels Wednesday over Russia’s military buildup on Ukraine’s border with no sign either will relent from entrenched positions that have raised fears of a Russian invasion and a new war in Europe, reports AP.

Ahead of critical talks Friday between U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the two sides appeared no closer to any compromise that might ease tensions and avert the threat of a Russian invasion. Ukraine, meanwhile, said it was prepared for the worst and would survive whatever difficulties come its way.

On a visit to Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, Blinken accused Russia of planning to reinforce the more than 100,000 troops it has deployed along the Ukrainian border and suggested that number could double “on relatively short order.”

Blinken did not elaborate, but Russia has sent an unspecified number of troops from the country’s far east to its ally Belarus, which also shares a border with Ukraine, for major war games next month.

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