U.S. Secretary of Antony Blinken has accepted an invitation to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov late next week provided Russia does not invade Ukraine, the U.S. State Department said on Friday.
Blinken said earlier he had sent a letter to Lavrov proposing a meeting next week in Europe.
At the same time, several Russian mechanised infantry units have returned to their bases in the regions of Dagestan and Chechnya after completing drills in Crimea.
Russia said this week it has started pulling back some troops from areas adjacent to Ukraine. But Kyiv and the West have disputed that, saying some units and equipment appeared to be replaced by others.
Separately, Interfax cited the ministry as saying that a train loaded with tanks of the Western military district has departed an undisclosed location to deliver them back to their base in the Nizhny Novgorod province.