January 25, 2022

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Persistent risk of confrontation - VG

Persistent risk of confrontation – VG

GENEVA MEETING: At 08.55am on Monday, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Russian Sergei Ryabkov began their meeting, the first after Russia sent a list of demands to the US and NATO in December.

BRUSSELS/OSLO (VG) After a 7.5-hour crisis meeting on Ukraine in Geneva, the United States offered Russia new meetings on security in Europe. But the danger of conflict is not over yet.

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Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said after the meeting that Russia would wait for meetings at NATO and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on Wednesday and Thursday before Moscow decides whether to take part in new talks.

“We urged the United States not to underestimate the possibility of confrontation,” Ryabkov said.

According to him, Moscow’s response to the breakdown of talks with the United States would be of a military-technical nature, but he refused to answer what that meant.

At the same time, the Deputy Secretary of State stressed that the United States does not need to be afraid of an escalation of the situation, and that Russia has no intention of invading Ukraine.

Both the US and NATO are concerned about whether Russia is planning to invade after the Russians A large number of troops moved near the country’s border with Ukraine.

In Ukraine, fears of a Russian invasion are high. so they have packed in trenches near the border.

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Offered new calls

Both sides said that the talks at the crisis meeting in Geneva were concrete and business-like.

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According to US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, the United States wants to continue talks on, among other things, denuclearization, and mutual restrictions on military exercises in border areas with Russia.

“We have invited Russia to continue the dialogue,” Sherman said in a conference call after the meeting.

She added that it would take more than days and weeks to reach new agreements with Russia.

But she stressed that the United States will not talk about Ukraine without the presence of Ukraine, and not about NATO-related operations, without the presence of NATO countries.

– She added: “But if Russia shy away from this process, it will be clear that they never intended to call for negotiations seriously.”

Three steps to meeting

Ever since December 17 last year, then Russia published the text in two draft agreements with the United States and NATO, respectively, The West has done work to create a road map to prevent Russia from going ahead with a military attack on Ukraine.

The first step along the way was a direct crisis encounter between the United States and Russia, at the political level, in Geneva. This meeting has now taken place.

The next step is for the NATO-Russia Council to meet in Brussels on Wednesday, and for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the European Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, to meet on Thursday. Russia and Ukraine are full members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and both the United States and NATO have rejected negotiations on Ukraine without Ukraine present.

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Russia is hanging

Ryabkov declined to invite the United States to continue the talks.

“It depends on the outcome of other talks this week, such as in Brussels and Vienna,” Ryabkov said after the meeting, according to Reuters.

He was in Brussels on Monday Talks between NATO President Jens Stoltenberg and Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Stevanishina.

In the summary, Ryabkov claimed that Russia did not meet with an understanding from the United States about the severity of the situation.

Ukraine did not get warranty

“We urge the United States not to underestimate the possibility of confrontation,” Ryabkov said.

At the same time, he was quite clear about one thing.

“It is absolutely necessary for Russia to ensure that Ukraine never becomes a member of NATO,” Rybkov said.

But the request for such a guarantee against Ukraine’s membership in NATO was flatly rejected by the United States and Wendy Sherman at Monday’s meeting.

According to Ryabkov, Russia’s willingness to negotiate further depends on progress on this issue of Ukraine, which tops the list of Russian demands for both the United States and NATO.

“NATO’s principle of open doors (for new member states) will not change,” Sherman said.