Washington announced its readiness to negotiate with Moscow arrangements for missiles and military exercises, while Moscow ruled out “any concessions” in the Vienna talks, which aim to defuse tension between Russia and the West over Ukraine.
And a senior White House official said – yesterday, Saturday – that negotiating with Russia over the status or number of US forces in Europe is not on the table during the talks that may start tomorrow, Monday, in Geneva.
The US official indicated that Washington is open to discussing the issues of missile deployment in Europe and the future of US and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) military exercises.
The official revealed his country’s readiness to discuss issues related to a mutual restriction of military exercises in the region and the deployment of missiles in Ukraine and Europe.
The official linked reaching an agreement to what he called “reciprocity” from the Russian side, declaring that no commitments were made in the talks with Moscow.
In this context, a US State Department spokesman said that Secretary Anthony Blinken told a European official that it was important to support Ukraine’s territorial integrity, and that any new Russian aggression “will lead to a harsh response.”
On the other hand, Russia ruled out on Sunday making “any concession” during critical talks with the United States in Geneva on Ukraine and security in Europe, expressing “disappointment” with “indications” from Washington.
“We will not accept any concession. This is completely unlikely,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, who is participating in the negotiations, told Russian news agencies, stressing that “we have been disappointed by the signals issued in recent days by Washington and Brussels as well.”
The United States and Russia will meet – as of this evening, Sunday – in Geneva, in an attempt to defuse the explosive crisis over Ukraine, as well as seek to bring seemingly impossible to reconcile views on security in Europe, a day before the main talks between the two sides.
Western countries – and Kiev as well – accuse Russia of mobilizing about 100,000 soldiers at the borders of Ukraine, in preparation for a possible invasion. And threatened Russian President Vladimir Putin with “enormous” and unprecedented sanctions if he attacked his neighbour.
The Kremlin asserts that the West is provoking Russia by deploying military forces on its borders or by arming the Ukrainian army that is fighting pro-Russian separatists in the Donbass, eastern Ukraine. alliance.
US President Joe Biden had previously warned that Russia would face dire economic consequences if the Russian president invaded Ukraine, and US officials on Saturday provided more details of the tough sanctions that could be imposed.
One of the limitations, according to a source familiar with the plan, could target important Russian industrial sectors, including defense and civil aviation, and this would permanently affect Russia’s ambitions in high-tech fields such as artificial intelligence.
Russia may be added to a group of countries that face severe restrictions, for the purposes of controlling exports, namely Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria, according to the source.