Ahead of bilateral negotiations with Moscow on Monday in Geneva, the US side tempered expectations and warned against Russian disinformation. “There will be no firm commitments in these talks, which will be serious and tangible but exploratory,” a US government official said in a telephone interview with reporters on Saturday. Then all issues will be examined in Washington and discussed with allies during the week.
The government official said he would not be surprised if the Russian side published false reports of US concessions in order to “divide allies”.
The meeting takes place against the backdrop of the Ukrainian crisis. The US government official said delegates would likely meet for initial talks on Sunday evening after arriving in Geneva. Actual talks between the United States and Russia will take place in the Swiss city on Monday. The US delegation was led by Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman. A meeting of the NATO-Russia Council is scheduled for January 12 in Brussels – the first in two and a half years. After that, talks will be held in Vienna on January 13 within the framework of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
The United States has accused Russia of building forces in areas on the border with Ukraine for weeks. Fears that Russian soldiers will invade the former Soviet Republic. Russia denies such plans. For its part, Russia resists accepting more Eastern European countries into NATO and demands guarantees that Ukraine will never become a member of the alliance.
The US government official said it was not up to Moscow to decide which countries other countries would enter into alliances with. In the context of NATO we call this door open and neither Russia nor any other country will close it.” However, in bilateral negotiations, progress can be envisaged on issues such as maneuvers or the centralization of offensive missile systems. The representative of the government again warned Moscow against a military escalation He said such a move would lead to financial and economic sanctions in addition to the US arming Ukraine, among other things.
According to US government sources, the US is ready to limit some military activities in Eastern Europe. A senior official in US President Joe Biden’s administration said on Saturday that there may be reciprocal restrictions on military exercises and missile deployments in the region. On the other hand, the United States is not ready to talk about the scope of the stationing of American forces in NATO member states in the region.
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