Mon. Jan 24th, 2022

Russia says talks with the US and NATO in Geneva and Brussels have failed to address its security grievances, casting doubt on the prospect of a Western diplomatic effort to defuse Moscow’s threat of military action against Ukraine.

Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, told reporters that the talks were “unsuccessful” despite “positive elements” on issues that Russia did not see as central to its demands. “It’s bad,” he said.

Peskov said Russia would have the “political will” to continue talks if the West was willing to negotiate the rollback of NATO enlargement.

Sergei Ryabkov, Deputy Foreign Minister and Russia’s chief negotiator in talks with the US this week, also said the discussions on the two draft treaties outlining the Russian grievances have so far ended in a “dead end” because the US and its allies are only willing to consider issues such as gun control and power deployments, rather than Russia’s key requests.

“Without any explanation as to whether there are any resources or any reserve of flexibility on the other side to work on these serious issues, I see no reason to sit down in the next few days, get back together and start the same talks. . , ”Ryabkov told the television channel RTVI.

Russia has amassed about 100,000 troops on Ukraine’s border in recent months and has threatened “the most unpredictable and serious consequences for European security” if President Vladimir Putin’s insistence on US security guarantees fails.

Commenting on talks with Russia at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Zbigniew Rau, Poland’s foreign minister and chairman of the security organization, warned on Thursday that “the risk of war in the OSCE area is greater than ever before. . in the last 30 years, ”referring to the Ukraine crisis.

The OSCE meeting with Moscow is the final stage of a three-way diplomatic effort to engage with the Kremlin and avoid renewed military aggression against Ukraine by Russia following the 2014 annexation of Crimea. This follows bilateral talks with the US on Monday in Geneva and a NATO-Russia summit on Wednesday in Brussels.

Russia is demanding a NATO pledge to halt the alliance’s eastern expansion, to commit never to allow Ukraine and Georgia and to restrict troop deployment in former Eastern Bloc countries. The demands are considered unacceptable by Western capitals.

Fresh Russian troop movements on the border with Ukraine were “part of the pressure” exerted by Moscow on Wednesday to achieve its goals, EU chief diplomat Josep Borrell said at an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brest , France, said.

EU diplomats will use the Brest meeting to “work out the position of the European Union, decide how we should deal with the crisis”, he added.

Russia has denied involvement in Ukraine, but has warned of a “military-technical response” if the talks fail.

“If we do not hear a constructive response to our proposals within a reasonable time and continue aggressive behavior towards Russia, we will have to take the necessary measures to ensure strategic balance and eliminate unacceptable threats to our national security,” Russia said. OSCE Ambassador Alexander Lukashevich said. , according to the Russian mission’s Twitter account.

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