Antony Blinken
Antony Blinken Reuters

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Tuesday that he will no longer meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva this week.

"Now that we see the invasion is beginning and Russia has made clear its wholesale rejection of diplomacy, it does not make sense to go forward with that meeting at this time," Blinken said, according to CNN. "I consulted with our allies and partners -- all agree."

The Secretary of State, who was speaking at the State Department alongside Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, said he sent a letter to Lavrov on Tuesday to inform him of the decision.

He said the US remains committed to diplomacy "if Russia is prepared to take demonstrable steps to provide the international community with any degree of confidence it's serious about deescalating and finding a diplomatic solution."

Meanwhile, the White House said that a possible meeting between US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin is “certainly” not an option at the moment.

“At this point it certainly is not in the plans,” said White House spokesperson Jen Psaki, who added that a de-escalation of conflict with Ukraine would be needed for such a summit.

Blinken's announcement came a day after Putin recognized two separatist regions in Ukraine as independent and later announced he would deploy "peacekeeping" forces there.

Earlier on Tuesday, Biden delivered an address on Russia's threats against Ukraine in which he announced the application of sanctions against Russian banks and elites.

“This is the beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine,” Biden said, warning that Russian President Vladimir Putin was “setting up a rationale to go much further” in his actions against Ukraine.

The President said that he would enact the “first tranche” of sanctions against Russian banks, its sovereign debt, and elites in response to the invasion. The sanctions will cut Russia off from western financing and trading in US and European markets.

In addition, he stated that the US and Germany would ensure that the Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline would not be able to operate.

"Russia will pay an even steeper price if it continues its aggression, including additional sanctions," Biden warned.