Russia Ukraine: After officials from both nations gathered in Geneva for high-stakes negotiations, Russia told the US that it had no plans to invade Ukraine.
Both sides agreed to continue efforts to decrease tensions following a seven-hour meeting on Monday.
Russia Ukraine following the talks there was a slight hint of a substantial
Around 100,000 Russian troops are thought to be near the Ukrainian border, raising concerns of an assault and eliciting warnings from the West.
If Russia attacks Ukraine, the US has stated that sanctions will be imposed.
Meanwhile, Russia has urged the United States not to “underestimate the risks” of its confrontation with the West.
Following the discussion, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters, “We conveyed to our colleagues that we have no plans, no ambitions to attack Ukraine.”
He stated that the Russians had informed their American counterparts that “all steps for combat training of soldiers and forces are carried out within our territory” and that there was “no need to fear any escalation scenario in this regard.”
According to US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, the conversations were “frank and candid” discussions aimed at better understanding each side’s security concerns.
This was the first opportunity for Russian and American ambassadors to meet face to face to discuss the Ukraine crisis and Russia’s demands for Nato to withdraw from eastern Europe.
While little agreement appears to have been reached, both sides have expressed their worries and laid out their requests, with the potential of further meetings.
Despite this, the chasm between the two sides remains wide. The US encouraged Russia to de-escalate the situation and withdraw its troops from Ukraine’s border, but no assurances were given.
Russia requested a firm promise from Nato that it will never admit Ukraine as a member. The United States flatly rejected this. The US made some suggestions for both countries to reduce military exercises and missile deployments, but it was clear that this would not be sufficient for Russia.
Optimists will refer to the fact that the negotiations were professional, that they did not end in acrimony, and that Russia stated that it has no plans to invade Ukraine. Pessimists would point out that, despite such assurances, US officials indicated they were still unsure if Russia was serious about resolving the problem diplomatically.
Ms. Sherman claimed that the US had rejected Russian proposals that were “non-starters” for the US government, such as Russia’s demand that Nato pledge never to admit Ukraine to the alliance.
“No one will be able to stop Nato’s open-door policy, which has always been vital to the Nato alliance,” she declared.
According to Ms. Sherman, the US delegation warned the Russians that any invasion would come at a “major cost and consequence much beyond what they suffered in 2014,” when Russia took the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine.
Sanctions against major financial institutions, export controls, “enhancements of Nato force posture on alliance territory,” and expanded security support to Ukraine are among the possible responses, she said.
Mr. Ryabkov described the talks as “businesslike and professional” but urged the United States not to “underestimate the risks” of the escalating tensions.
The Geneva discussions are the first of three meetings this week involving the US, ally, and Russian officials, including a meeting at Nato headquarters in Brussels and a meeting at the permanent council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, including Russia.
On the other hand, the meeting on Monday was held without the participation of US European allies, including Ukraine, eliciting promises from Ms Sherman and other US officials that Ukraine, Europe, and Nato would be included in any decisions.
Josep Borrell Fontelles, the EU’s foreign policy leader, indicated earlier on Monday that a Russian invasion was still a possibility. “On the other side of the border, there are 100,000 Russian forces,” he claimed. “I’m guessing they didn’t come to drink coffee!”
Mr Borrell went on to say that without the EU’s “strong co-operation, coordination, and participation,” nothing would be agreed.
Russia has denied that it intends to conduct a military campaign in Ukraine on numerous occasions. The Russian government issued a list of demands last month, including a promise that Ukraine will never join NATO.