Middle East

U.S. and Russia negotiate high stakes on Ukraine

Geneva: High-ranking US and Russian officials held important talks yesterday on rising tensions over Ukraine and security demands from Moscow, but with little diplomatic breakthrough. High stakes negotiations are brought about by Russian troops rallying on the Ukrainian border, fearing aggression, and Moscow demanding widespread concessions from Washington and its NATO partners.

The talks begin a week of high-stakes diplomacy between Russia and the West after Moscow gathers tens of thousands of troops on the Ukrainian border and draws the United States and Europe into a Cold War-style standoff. US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov met at a US mission in Geneva at 8:55 am (0755 GMT), officials said.

A convoy of black cars with Russian diplomatic plates arrived shortly before and was guided through a large iron gate under the undulating US flag. The two diplomats had already met informally in a Swiss city on Sunday night, after which Ryabkov told Russian news agencies that the first meeting was “difficult.” Ryabkov was quoted yesterday by state news agency RIA Novosti for fear that Washington did not take Moscow’s request for the end of NATO’s eastern expansion seriously.

“Peaceful prediction”

Pointing out NATO’s 2008 commitment to consider joining Ukraine and Georgia, Ryabkov said:

“I’m pretty pessimistic about this,” Sherman said in a Sunday meeting, emphasizing “the freedom of sovereign states to choose their own alliances.” There was little hope for diplomacy in the muddy trenches at the forefront of Ukraine, where Kiev troops have fought pro-Russian fighters since 2014.

“I don’t think anything will change,” said 29-year-old soldier Mikairo while walking in the trenches of the town of Avdiivka, just north of Donetsk, home of the separatist forces. “The guarantee of not joining NATO never stops,” Putin said, adding that “he wants to return the Soviet Union in version 2.0.”
Both sides have set a firm policy, warning that Moscow will face serious consequences from the invasion of Ukraine and Russia, and demanding a broad new security agreement with the West.

After yesterday’s talks, a NATO-Russian council meeting will be held in Brussels on Wednesday, followed by a permanent council of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) meeting in Vienna on Thursday, which is expected to be dominated by Ukraine. .. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stressed on Sunday that Russia had to choose between dialogue and confrontation and warned CNN that “renewing the invasion of Ukraine would have a significant impact on Russia.” ..

“There are dialogue and diplomatic paths to try to resolve some of these differences,” he said. The United States states that many of Moscow’s proposals are non-starters. Blinken warned that the positive outcomes of the talks depended in part on Russia’s willingness to stand up from its aggressive stance, which was likened to “the atmosphere of escalation with a gun in Ukraine’s head.”

“If we really intend to make progress, we will have to see de-escalation,” said US President Joe Biden’s chief diplomat. Russia could otherwise face serious economic and financial implications, saying “NATO will almost certainly have to strengthen its position near Russia and continue to support Ukraine.” He told ABC TV on Sunday.

Putin met Biden in Geneva in June and agreed to regular “stability” negotiations between Sherman and Ryabkov. The last round was held in Swiss cities in July and September.

U.S. warning

On two calls to Putin, Biden warned of the serious consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Measures under consideration include sanctions on Putin’s inner circle, the cancellation of Russia’s controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Germany, or, in the most dramatic scenario, the disconnection of Russia’s link to the global banking system. It will be.
Russia claimed to have been deceived after the Cold War and understood that NATO would not expand eastward. Instead, the US-led alliance welcomed most of the former Warsaw Pact countries and the three Baltic states under Soviet control.

Russia has put strong pressure on Ukraine since 2014 after the revolution opposed the Kremlin’s supportive government’s approach to Europe. Russia occupied the Crimean Peninsula and boosted a rebellion in eastern Ukraine that killed more than 13,000 people. – AFP

https://www.kuwaittimes.com/us-russia-hold-high-stakes-talks-on-ukraine/ U.S. and Russia negotiate high stakes on Ukraine

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