US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken plans to send a "tough message" to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov about the unacceptability of the annexation of new territories of Ukraine, as well as the consequences for Russia. U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said this during a briefing in Washington.
"The secretary of state wanted to send a very tough message about our concern that Russia may try to annex by force parts of sovereign Ukrainian territory. We've heard very troubling statements, particularly in some cases from Foreign Minister Lavrov himself," Price noted.
In this context, the State Department recalled Foreign Minister Lavrov's statement just the other day that "Russia's geographic goals extend far beyond Donbass and potentially include other regions."
"We thought it prudent for Foreign Secretary Lavrov to hear directly from Secretary Blinken the message that annexation by force would be a gross violation of the UN Charter, of international law and would make you pay a serious price and have consequences from much of the world," Price said.
The U.S. expects the conversation between Blinken and Lavrov to take place in the coming days.