United States opens door to negotiations with Russia on missile deployment and military exercises | International

The United States presents itself with one of lime and another of sand before the new round of talks with Russia on Ukraine which takes place this Monday in Geneva. The Joe Biden administration opens the door to negotiations with the Kremlin on issues such as missile deployment and the extent of military maneuvers by both sides in the region if pressure on the country eases, officials said Americans during a phone call this Saturday. with reporters, but he also raises a series of serious economic sanctions if Vladimir Putin intervenes, a fear the Russian leader has encouraged by stepping up the presence of troops on the Ukrainian border.

Washington and Moscow will sit around the table seven months after the Biden-Putin summit, held in the same city last June, which set the tone for what had been the first part of the year: so many interest in not continuing to escalate tension as mistrust between the parties. This time the leaders will not participate. The US delegation will be led by US Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov. The context has also changed: the Kremlin has concentrated tens of thousands of troops on the border with Ukraine, and the United States has raised the tone.

“Even if we much prefer to defuse [esta crisis] Through diplomatic channels, if Russia chooses the other route, we are more than prepared, and in agreement with our partners and allies, to impose heavy costs via financial sanctions, export controls targeting key industries, a strengthening of NATO’s positions in allied territory and increased security, support for Ukraine, ”the aforementioned sources from the US administration explained on Saturday.

Russia, however, ruled out on Sunday any “concession” in talks with the United States in Geneva, the deputy foreign minister said. “We will not accept any concessions. It is totally excluded, ”said Sergei Ryabkov, who is to take part in the negotiations, to Russian press agencies.

Some of the restrictions considered by the allies would affect American products that are exported to the country, as well as some manufactured abroad, but which are subject to the jurisdiction of the North American country or others with a specific percentage of American composition. , according to the Reuters agency is a source close to the file. Russia could, in short, be part of the group of countries most penalized by the United States in terms of foreign trade, a club that includes Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria.

The dissemination of these details serves to prepare the ground for Monday’s appointment, which Washington claims to arrive with more “realism” than pessimism. Any deal on maneuvers and missiles, yes, the Biden government stresses, would be done on a consensual basis with Ukraine and with NATO allies. Indeed, contacts will continue during the week in an already multilateral field. Following the Geneva talks, a special meeting of the NATO-Russia Council will take place in Brussels on Wednesday and a session of the Organization for European Security and Cooperation (OSCE) in Vienna on Thursday.

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Moscow comes to the table with the demand for legal guarantees that NATO will not carry out military reinforcements at Russia’s European borders, especially those of Ukraine. In a draft proposal made public in mid-December, during a conference call between Biden and Putin, the Kremlin proposes that the Atlantic Alliance assume “the obligation to prevent NATO enlargement to other states, including the accession of Ukraine ”. And renounce military exercises in this region, the Caucasus and Central Asia. Sources in the Biden administration have previously warned that with the first they touched the bone. It is not possible, they stressed this Saturday, that Moscow decides “of which the other countries can be allies”.

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