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Jan. 21, 2022, 10:34 a.m. EST

U.S. and Russia agree to continue talks aimed at defusing Ukraine standoff

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William Mauldin, Ann M. Simmons, and Vivian Salama

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. would formally address the Kremlin’s claims that Western powers threaten Russian security, as both sides agreed to continue talks on how to avert a  possible Russian invasion  of Ukraine.

Context: Ukraine’s foreign minister expresses ‘no doubt’ about Biden commitment despite remark on prospective ‘minor incursion’ by Russia

Also read: Russia mapping out ‘false flag’ incident in eastern Ukraine as pretext to invade, according to ‘very credible’ U.S. intelligence assessment

Russia has  massed about 100,000 troops  near Ukraine in response to what it says are threats to its security from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Western powers. The move has created one of the worst crises between Russia and the West since the Cold War, with many fearing Russia will invade its smaller neighbor.

The Kremlin has blamed NATO for endangering its security and requested a written response to its demands that the alliance stop accepting new members and reduce its force posture in Eastern Europe.

While U.S. and Western officials have rejected those demands, Blinken agreed to respond in detail to Russia’s concerns and provide written proposals for reciprocal moves to improve security in the region.

An expanded version of this report appears at WSJ.com.

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