“We didn’t expect any major breakthroughs to happen today, but I believe we are now on a clearer path to understanding each other’s positions,” Blinken told reporters after the meeting.

The United States and Russia sought to lower the temperature in a heated standoff over Ukraine, even as they reported no breakthroughs in high-level, high-stakes talks on Friday aimed at preventing a feared Russian invasion, AP reports.

Armed with seemingly intractable and diametrically opposed demands, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met in Geneva for roughly 90 minutes at what the American said was a “critical moment.”

But there was no apparent movement on either side, and Blinken said the U.S. and its allies remain resolute in rejecting Russia’s most important demands.

Nonetheless, Blinken told Lavrov that the U.S. would present Russia with written responses to its proposals next week and suggested the two men would likely meet again shortly after that.

With an estimated 100,000 Russian troops massed near Ukraine, many fear Moscow is preparing an invasion although Russia denies that. The U.S. and its allies are scrambling to present a united front to prevent that or coordinate a tough response if they can’t.

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