Secretary of state Tony Blinken says coming week of talks is moment of truth for Russian president

Russian tank
Russian troops taking part in drills in the southern Rostov region of the country. Moscow has amassed 100,000 troops in the Ukrainian border region. Photograph: AP

The US has told Vladimir Putin to choose between dialogue and confrontation on the eve of a critical week of diplomacy over Ukraine as Russian troops remained massed along its borders.

Senior diplomats and military officers from the US and Russia held a working dinner in Geneva on Sunday evening before Monday’s formal negotiations to discuss Moscow’s demands. Those were set out last month in two draft treaties, one with the US and one with Nato. Much of their content is unacceptable to Washington and the alliance, most importantly a pledge that Ukraine will never be a Nato member.

The head of the Russian delegation, the deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, described the Sunday night dinner meeting, held at the residence of the US ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament overlooking Lake Geneva, as “amazing”.