Home World News Ukraine: Washington reiterates its warnings, “the situation is not hopeless”, says Moscow

Ukraine: Washington reiterates its warnings, “the situation is not hopeless”, says Moscow


A high-risk diplomatic week opened on Monday between Russians and Americans in an attempt to avoid a conflict in Ukraine. The deputy foreign ministers of the two rival powers, the American Wendy Sherman and her Russian counterpart Sergei Riabkov, met in Geneva, while relations between Ukraine and Russia, already very degraded since 2014, are currently experiencing a peak in tension.

For more than a month in fact, Russia has been accused by the West of having massed tens of thousands of soldiers near the Ukrainian border, with a view to possible military intervention. But Moscow denies any bellicose intention, claiming to be threatened by “provocations” from Kiev and NATO, and demands that the latter undertake not to expand into the former USSR.

At the end of the talks on Monday, Wendy Sherman told the press that she had discussed with Sergei Riabkov possible reciprocal limits on missiles and military maneuvers in Europe, but reiterated Western warnings in the event of an invasion of Ukraine. “We have presented a number of ideas from which our two countries could take reciprocal measures consistent with our security interests and which can improve strategic stability,” she said. She added that she had offered to continue these talks soon to go into detail, in particular on the deployment of missiles.

Threat of “significant costs”

Washington, however, warned Moscow that NATO’s “open door policy” would continue despite Russian demands for a written commitment to avoid any future Ukraine membership, she also said. “We are firm in our opposition to security proposals which are quite simply inadmissible in the United States. We will not allow anyone to close NATO’s open door policy, ”she insisted.

The US Deputy Secretary of State also explained that she repeated to her counterpart that any invasion of Ukraine would entail “significant costs”, “enormous”, that the West would inflict on Russia and assured that Washington did not no intention of negotiating on the Ukrainian issue without involving Kiev, nor discussing in detail the security architecture in Europe without the Europeans.

For the moment, Russia has not provided a “response” to the American request for “de-escalation” at the Ukrainian border during Monday’s talks in Geneva, lamented Wendy Sherman. And to explain that Moscow could initiate this “de-escalation” by “sending back to their barracks the soldiers” amassed at the border in recent weeks. Asked if Sergei Riabkov had given pledges in this regard, she replied: “I don’t think we know the answer to that. “

No reason “to fear an escalation”, says Moscow

Russia “does not intend” to attack Ukraine, for its part assured the Russian negotiator. “We explained to colleagues that we have no plans, no intention to attack Ukraine,” said Sergei Riabkov, Deputy Foreign Minister, adding that there was no reason “To fear an escalation of the situation on this level”.

On the basis of the negotiations with Wendy Sherman, he praised the seriousness with which the American side had taken Russia’s demands for its security, first and foremost legal guarantees never to expand NATO again, above all to former countries. – pro-Western Soviets, Ukraine and Georgia in the lead. “We have the impression that the American side has taken the Russian proposals very seriously,” he said, referring to the “difficult, long, professional” talks.

According to him, “the situation (about Ukraine) is not desperate ”, but, he judged,“ the risks linked to a worsening of the evolution of the confrontation should not be underestimated ”. “We call on the United States to show maximum responsibility,” warned Sergei Riabkov. “We need a breakthrough, a real gesture in the direction of Russia must be made and that must come from NATO”, he insisted, assuring that “never ever” Ukraine must not join the Atlantic Alliance. For him, the concessions to Russia must be made “quickly”, Riabkov insisting that the negotiation process should not take “months and years”.

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