Blinken also added a second topic he’d like to discuss with Lavrov —implementation of the recent “grain deal”. Washington played no role in negotiating the deal and is presumably hoping to make a lateral entry into the matrix now. Blinken claimed he is “seeing and hearing around the world a desperate need for food, a desperate need for prices to decrease. And if we can help through our direct diplomacy encourage the Russians to make good on the commitments they’ve made, that will help people around the world, and I’m determined to do it.”
Interestingly, in a veiled reference to the US, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavuсoglu stated Wednesday on broadcaster Tv100 that there were countries who “wanted to block” the grain deal between Russia and Turkey, who want the Ukraine conflict “to prolong”, as they think the longer Moscow’s special military operation continues, “the weaker Russia will be.”
Indeed, the war has spun out of US algorithm. As Hungarian PM Orban pointed out last week, anti-Russian sanctions “have not shaken Moscow,” but Europe has already lost four governments and is in an economic and political crisis.
The spectre of the collapse of EU economies is rattling the Biden Administration. A CNN report yesterday was titled US officials say ‘biggest fear’ has come true as Russia cuts gas supplies to Europe. It said the Biden administration “is working furiously behind the scenes to keep European allies united” as the blowback from the sanctions against Russia hits them and the “impact on Europe could boomerang back onto the US, spiking natural gas and electricity prices.”
The report quoted an unnamed US official saying Russia’s retaliation for western sanctions has put the West in “unchartered territory.” Suffice to say, Blinken’s call underscores the desperate urgency in Washington to open a line of communication to Moscow at the political level.