British Foreign Minister Liz Truss to visit Moscow in February

British Foreign Minister Liz Truss to visit Moscow in February

MOSCOW, Jan 22 Reuters - British foreign minister Liz Truss is expected to visit Moscow in February for talks with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, according to a diplomatic source.

The planned visit comes amid rising tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine. Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken did not make a breakthrough on the issue this week, but agreed to continue talking to try to solve a crisis that has sparked fears of a military conflict. The British foreign minister has asked for the chance to visit Moscow for talks with Lavrov. Moscow has agreed to go to Moscow in February, according to RIA.

Britain's foreign ministry didn't make a statement.

A senior British defence ministry source said on Saturday Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu had also agreed to talks with British counterpart Ben Wallace in Moscow.

On Friday, Shoigu invited Wallace to Moscow, while Wallace had earlier this week extended a similar invitation for his Russian counterpart to visit London for talks. The Defence Secretary is glad that Russia has accepted the invitation to talk to his counterpart, the source said.

Since the last defence bilateral between our two countries took place in London in 2013 Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has offered to meet in Moscow instead. The Secretary of State has stated that he will look at all avenues to achieve stability and a resolution to the Ukraine crisis. The British Ministry of Defence source said there was no time for the meeting.

Britain and its NATO allies have expressed deep concern over Russia's military build-up on the border with Ukraine and warned of the severe economic consequences if it invades.

Russia denies plans to invade Ukraine but is demanding legally binding security guarantees from the United States and NATO.

Britain has started supplying Ukraine with anti-tank weapons to defend itself against a potential invasion, according to Britain on Monday.