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Ukraine crisis: what next after the Blinken-Lavrov talks?

(Reuters) – Here is a snapshot of what to look out for next in the Ukraine crisis after the latest U.S.-Russia talks produced – as expected – no breakthrough.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. side would respond in writing next week to a set of security proposals that Russia presented in December, including a demand to bar Ukraine from ever joining NATO. A formal U.S. rejection could provide Russia with a pretext to move ahead with the unspecified military response it has threatened. Tatiana Stanovaya, head of political analysis firm R.Politik, said Moscow needed a written U.S. reply “as cast-iron proof of a refusal to provide Russia with security guarantees. This is partly a trap, of course, because any such written response will be used to discredit the U.S. negotiating position.”

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