Russia has warned the US and NATO to make concessions or face a worse security situation in Europe, because they have downplayed progress potential in negotiations between Moscow and Washington to prevent a Invasion of Ukraine.
Russian and American officials will meet on Monday in Geneva for High shares negotiations on Ukraine and broader European defense. The talks have been boosted by Russia’s deployment of some 100,000 troops near its border with Ukraine and its warnings of military action if the West ignores demands for new guarantees that will reshape the structure Europe’s security.
Sergei Ryabkov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister and chief negotiator in Geneva, said Russia will not give in to NATO’s demand that Ukraine never become a member, the commitment of the US and the military alliance has already been established. rejected.
“Now the other side has to show flexibility. If they cannot do this, then they will face a worse situation in their own security,” told Russian state news agency Ria. “I have a rather pessimistic forecast on this, but we will persist in explaining that without addressing this key task, an effective dialogue will not work.”
The talks are the first in a series of diplomatic meetings this week aimed at de-escalating the situation in Ukraine. Nato’s general secretary told the Financial Times that the alliance hoped for “cooperation” from Moscow but prepare for possible conflict.
Ryabkov leads a delegation that will spend Monday holding talks with the US delegation led by Wendy Sherman, the deputy foreign minister.
“The United States will listen to Russia’s concerns and share ours, but we have been clear that we will not discuss European security without our allies,” Sherman said as the talks began. and our partners,” Sherman said as negotiations began.
US officials, while rejecting any deal that would end NATO’s “open-door” membership policy or reduce its ability to protect members of the alliance, have instead said they could open the door to negotiations on not deploying missile systems in Ukraine.
But Ryabkov said that Moscow would not deal with the problem as an alternative.
“I will tell you this, in response they will hear: ‘We are only ready to discuss not expanding Nato, not joining Ukraine, Georgia and other countries into the union,'” he said. “We will not compromise. This is completely excluded”.
Bilateral talks in Geneva will be followed by talks in Brussels on Wednesday between Russia and the 30 members of NATO.
Those talks also don’t look promising for potential progress, Ryabkov said.
“They want . . . [discuss] on their own terms, with an agenda that suits them, with a focus on the so-called de-escalation, the so-called ‘Russian aggression’ in Ukraine,” Ryabkov added. This is unacceptable to us.”