Blinken, Lavrov discuss matters of mutual interest before Arctic Council meeting

 F.P. Report

WASHINGTON: Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.  Secretary Blinken and Minister Lavrov discussed the upcoming Arctic Council Ministerial, where they will meet next week, and the potential to cooperate during Russia’s subsequent Arctic Council Chairmanship.  Secretary Blinken reiterated President Biden’s resolve to protect U.S. citizens and act firmly in defense of U.S. interests in response to actions by Russia that harm us or our allies. 

He called on Russia to release Paul Whelan and Trevor Reed so they can return home to their families.  The Secretary provided the Minister an overview of U.S. policy toward the DPRK, and the two committed to continued discussion on issues of mutual concern.