US, Russia talk about crisis in Ukraine

The United States and Russia will hold key talks in Geneva on January 10 to discuss European security and the Ukrainian border crisis, where Russia has amassed more than 100,000 troops amid Western fears that Moscow is considering d ‘to invade.

“We look forward to engaging with Russia in the strategic stability dialogue on January 10,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Tuesday.

The Kremlin has said the West and NATO are encroaching dangerously near Russia’s borders and demanded that the military alliance not expand east.

The meeting will be followed by a Russia-NATO summit on January 12 and a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) a day later.

“There will be areas where we can make progress, areas where I’m sure we won’t agree, that’s the purpose of diplomacy,” Price said.

The United States has not announced who will lead the delegation to Geneva.

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken have taken the initiative to deal with the Ukraine crisis with Russia and the Europeans.

But even as it prepares for dialogue with Moscow, Washington maintains pressure on the Kremlin to dissuade it from invading Ukraine.

The Pentagon announced on Tuesday that a U.S. carrier strike group would remain in the Mediterranean Sea instead of going to the Middle East, USNI News reported.

The change aims to reassure European allies of the United States’ commitment to regional security.

A White House official said The National Tuesday that the Biden administration is committed to deterrence and diplomacy.

“President [Joe] Biden’s approach to Ukraine has been clear and consistent: uniting the alliance behind two tracks: deterrence and diplomacy. We are united as an alliance on the consequences Russia would face if it moved towards Ukraine. But we are also united in our willingness to engage in principled diplomacy with Russia, ”the official said.

Moscow has presented the West with sweeping security demands this month, saying NATO must not admit new members while trying to prevent the United States from establishing new bases in former Soviet republics. .

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov confirmed the Geneva meeting on Tuesday. Mr Biden and Russian leader Vladimir Putin met for their first summit in June.

Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau, who will take over as OSCE head in the new year, will address the meeting, said a representative of the organization, founded during the Cold War as a forum involving Moscow and the West.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow would adopt a “hard line” in talks aimed at defending its interests and avoiding “concessions”.

Russia’s deployment of tens of thousands of troops to the border raised fears in Kiev and its Western allies of a wider war, which could include further seizures of Ukrainian territory.

Mr Putin denies planning to attack the neighboring country, saying the troop movements are intended to defend Russia against Western military invasion.

The United States and its European partners have threatened to impose severe economic sanctions if Russia invades Ukraine, while offering to hold negotiations.

AFP contributed to this report

Update: December 29, 2021, 3:35 a.m.

Christi C. Elwood