Thu. Jan 27th, 2022

Russia has warned the US and NATO to make concessions or face a deteriorating security situation in Europe, as it potential for progress in talks between Moscow and Washington aimed at a invasion of Ukraine.

Russian and US officials meet Monday in Geneva for high risk negotiations on Ukraine and broader European defense. The talks were spurred by Russia’s deployment of some 100,000 troops near its border with Ukraine and its warnings of military action if the West ignores demands for new guarantees that will reform Europe’s security architecture.

Sergei Ryabkov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister and chief negotiator in Geneva, said Russia would not concede to its demand that NATO never make Ukraine a member, a promise the US and military alliance had already ruled out.

“Now the other side must show flexibility. “If they can not do that, they will face a deteriorating situation in their own safety,” he said. tell Russian state news agency Ria. “I have quite pessimistic predictions in this regard, but we will keep explaining that without solving this key task, a productive dialogue will not work.”

The talks are the first in a series of diplomatic meetings this week aimed at de-escalating the situation in Ukraine. NATO Secretary-General told the Financial Times that the alliance hopes for “cooperation” from Moscow, but prepare for possible conflict.

Ryabkov is leading a delegation that will spend Monday in talks with a U.S. delegation led by Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.

“The US will listen to Russia’s concerns and share our own, but we were clear that we would not discuss European security without our allies and partners,” Sherman said as the talks began.

U.S. officials, while excluding any agreements that would end NATO’s “open-door” membership policies or reduce the alliance’s ability to defend its members, said it could be more open to possible talks on non-deployment of missile systems. in Ukraine.

But Ryabkov said Moscow would not settle on this as an alternative.

“I will tell you this, in response they will hear: ‘We are ready to discuss only the non-enlargement of NATO, the non-accession of Ukraine, Georgia and other countries to the alliance,'” he said. “We will not make any concessions. It is completely out of the question. “

Bilateral talks in Geneva will be followed on Wednesday by talks in Brussels between Russia and the 30 members of NATO.

Ryabkov said those talks also did not look promising for potential progress.

“They want to. . . [discuss] on their own terms, with an agenda that suits them, with the emphasis on the so-called de-escalation, the so-called ‘Russian aggression’ in Ukraine, “Ryabkov added. “It is unacceptable to us.”

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