Written by Asma Hussain
10 Jan, 2022 | 4:06 pm
(News 1st); With diplomats publicly skeptical, the US and Russia are scheduled to begin delicate talks in Geneva on Monday (10) in the hopes of avoiding a fresh Russian invasion of Ukraine without giving in to the Kremlin’s vast security demands.
It is entirely possible the diplomacy could end after a single meeting, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov stated.
Even US Secretary of State Antony Blinken downplayed the expectations of the high-stakes negotiations.
With US-Russia ties at their lowest since the Cold War ended, discussions will begin on Monday (10) in Geneva before proceeding to Brussels and Vienna.
Russia proposed a broad set of demands last month, including a ban on further NATO expansion and a suspension of NATO’s activities in Central and Eastern European countries that joined after 1997.
However, major parts of Russia’s proposals have been dismissed as non-starters by the US and NATO, raising questions about whether there is a middle ground where Washington and Moscow can meet.
Furthermore, Russian troops have been stationed close to the Ukrainian border for what the U.S and Ukraine believe to be a possible invasion.
Nonetheless, Russia denies those accusations and states that it is reacting to what it calls aggressive and provocative behavior from Ukraine.
In a preliminary meeting with Ryabkov on Sunday (9), U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman emphasized Washington’s commitments to sovereignty, territorial integrity “and the freedom of sovereign nations to choose their alliances,” the U.S State Department stated.
U.S. President Joe Biden has continuously warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that the United States and its European allies would impose unprecedented sanctions if Russia were to invade Ukraine.
Sanctions could lead to a “complete breakdown in ties.” Russian President Vladimir Putin responded.
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