Ahead of bilateral talks in Geneva on Monday, the United States is easing expectations.
Ahead of bilateral talks with Moscow in Geneva this Monday, the US side lowered expectations and warned against Russian misinformation. “There will be no definitive confirmation of these talks, they will be serious and specific but probing,” a U.S. official told reporters Saturday. All issues will be considered in Washington and discussed with allies throughout the week.
The government official said he would not be surprised if the Russian side spread false news about US concessions “to create divisions among the Allies.”
Speech in Geneva
The meeting is taking place in the context of the crisis in Ukraine. The U.S. government spokesman said the delegation would meet for the first preliminary meeting after arriving in Geneva on Sunday evening. The actual talks between the US and Russia will take place in Switzerland on Monday. The U.S. delegation will be led by Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman. The meeting of the NATO-Russia Council is scheduled for January 12 in Brussels – for the first time in two and a half years. After that, talks within the framework of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) are scheduled for January 13 in Vienna.
The United States has accused Russia of concentrating its forces on the border with Ukraine for weeks. It is feared that Russian troops may invade the former Soviet republic. Russia denies such plans. Russia, for its part, opposes the inclusion of other Eastern European countries in NATO and demands that Ukraine never become a member of the alliance.
The U.S. official said Moscow had not determined which other states had formed alliances with. “In the case of NATO, we call this an open door. Russia or any other country will not close it.” However, progress on issues such as maneuvering or stabilizing missile systems is conceivable in bilateral talks. The government representative again warned Moscow of a military expansion in the wake of the Ukraine crisis. He said such a move would, among other things, impose financial and economic sanctions and build up US weapons in Ukraine.
“Amateur coffee fan. Travel guru. Subtly charming zombie maven. Incurable reader. Web fanatic.”