Fri. Jan 21st, 2022

Weeks of diplomacy aimed at easing tensions between Russia and Ukraine appear to be failing as fears of escalation escalate.

Russia she described security talks with the United States and NATO this week as “unsuccessful” and said there is continuing disagreement over fundamental issues.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday that the two rounds of talks so far in Geneva and Brussels yielded some “positive nuances”, but that Moscow was looking for concrete results.

The talks, which moved to Vienna on Thursday for a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), centered on Russia’s security demands of the West and its build – up of troops near Ukraine.

The military deployment scared Kyiv and its allies, called for the withdrawal of forces, and led to Western warnings of severe punishments on Russia should it launch an offensive.

Moscow has said it has no plans to invade Ukraine, which is already fighting Russia-backed separatists in its east, and has seen the Crimean peninsula annexed by Russian forces in 2014.

Russian officials stressed that they could deploy forces on their territory as they chose and blamed NATO for destabilizing the region.

The Kremlin’s list of Western security demands includes legally binding promises that NATO will never allow the former Soviet Republic of Ukraine to become a member and that the organization will withdraw troops from former Communist states in Central and Eastern Europe that the Cold joined the alliance. War.

The US describes the requests as “non-beginners”, but agrees with NATO that it is prepared to hold talks with Russia on arms control, missile deployment and trust-building measures.

Poland says ‘risk of war’ is 30 years high

At the OSCE meeting on Thursday, Poland’s foreign minister warned that Europe was closer to war than it had been in 30 years because of the current voltage.

Zbigniew Rau addressed envoys of OSCE 57 members, not mentioning Russia, but mentioning tensions in Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia and Moldova – all countries with active or frozen conflicts in which Russia is involved.

“It appears that the risk of war in the OSCE area is now greater than ever before in the last 30 years,” Rau said in a speech outlining his country’s priorities as it holds the organization’s rotating chairmanship this year.

“For several weeks we have been confronted with the prospect of a major military escalation in Eastern Europe,” he said.

Poland is one of NATO’s most hawkish members, confronting what it sees as Russia’s revisionist ambitions in Eastern Europe.

“We must focus on a peaceful resolution of the conflict in and around Ukraine,” Rau said, calling for “full respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity within its internationally recognized borders.”

In response, Russia’s envoy to the OSCE said Moscow would take steps to defend its national security if necessary.

“If we do not hear a constructive response to our proposals within a reasonable time frame and aggressive behavior towards [Russia] continue, we will have to take the necessary measures to ensure strategic balance and eliminate unacceptable threats to our national security, ”said Alexander Lukashevich.

The US also has little hope over the latest round of talks; Washington said it did not expect a breakthrough at Thursday’s meeting.

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