Moscow raises pressure on Ukraine and warns Washington that it places “European security” in danger | International

The expectations concerning the talks held this Monday in Geneva (Switzerland) between Washington and Moscow weren’t very optimistic on either side and nothing that occurred on the assembly altered the script. Russia’s army stress on the border with Ukraine, nearly eight years after the annexation of Crimea, has sparked fears in each the United States and Europe, and the assembly has not lessened pressure. The Kremlin delegation promised that it doesn’t plan to intervene within the former Soviet republic, but in addition warned the US Administration, in a threatening tone, to not search a rapprochement with Russia, which implies lowering NATO’s presence in japanese Europe. , is “a great mistake to the detriment of European security”, within the phrases of the top of the Russian delegation, Sergei Riabkov.

The Government of Joe Biden appeared on the assembly with a proposal to barter on the deployment of missiles and the scope of army workouts in Europe, along with warning of sturdy financial sanctions, which is able to go “far beyond” these utilized for the annexation of Crimea in 2014, if Russian President Vladimir Putin launches an intervention in Ukraine. The Undersecretary of State, Wendy Sherman, defined after the assembly that the requests made by Russia in a doc weeks in the past “are the opposite of starting points” and that she had made it identified to her counterpart. The Kremlin calls for authorized ensures that NATO won’t be strengthened on Russia’s European borders, particularly on Ukraine’s, and that the Atlantic Alliance additionally assumes “the obligation to prevent an expansion of NATO to other states. [de Europa del este, el Cáucaso o Asia central], including the accession of Ukraine ”.

The Russian diplomat made a press release in a really harsh tone. “If this does not happen [las concesiones occidentales a Moscú], then the issue will be analyzed taking into account all sectors “, mentioned Riabkov, who then launched the next reflection:” Without anticipating anything, without anticipating events, I can say that I really would not like to face a situation in which the NATO countries, led by the United States, make such a mistake and act again to the detriment of both their own security and that of the entire European continent ”.

No country, Sherman responded on Monday, “will dictate the overseas coverage of one other,” nor can it prohibit him from “weaving alliances.” The Undersecretary of State regretted that Russia has not taken any steps to stop the escalation of tension, a “de-escalation”, she said, which involves withdrawing “all of the troopers” concentrated on the border and returning them to “their barracks.” “We have made it clear that if Russia invades Ukraine there will likely be vital prices and penalties that can transcend what they confronted in 2014,” Sherman said. Penalties the United States is considering with its allies include financial sanctions, export controls for key industries, strengthening NATO positions in allied territory, and increased security support for Ukraine.

The Undersecretary of State, Wendy Sherman, and the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov, this Monday in Geneva.
The Undersecretary of State, Wendy Sherman, and the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov, this Monday in Geneva.DENIS BALIBOUSE (REUTERS)

The most positive note from the round of meetings this Monday, which lasted for eight hours, is that the diplomatic channel is not dead and that both governments want to continue talking. No European authority participated in the meeting, despite the fact that its results directly affect the Old Continent, although Washington does not stop insisting that any decision or measure related to this crisis be adopted in coordination with the European allies. The talks will continue at the multilateral level, indeed throughout the week. On Wednesday the NATO-Russia Council will meet in Brussels and on Thursday a session of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is scheduled in Vienna. Even so, the Russian diplomat warned that the success or failure of the negotiations will not be a matter of months but of days.

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“Russia’s place is hard, not an ultimatum,” Riabkov added. Russia wants NATO to return to its 1997 limits and resign from members that joined later. That year, the then Secretary General, Javier Solana, and the Russian Foreign Minister, Yevgueni Primakov, signed the Founding Act of Mutual Cooperation, which allowed the expansion of NATO without conflict. After that came the accession of all current space to eastern Germany, including Poland, Romania and the Baltic countries.

Riabkov said there is no reason for the United States to fear an escalation around Ukraine, along whose borders Russia deployed more than 100,000 troops in the last months of last year. “We don’t have any intention of invading Ukraine,” said the senior official.

In Kiev, they are concerned about the future after the negotiations. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wanted to “name issues by title” on Twitter a few hours before the meeting. Putin demands that the United States, NATO and the European Union accept Russia’s sphere of influence over neighboring states. But the Cold War is over and with it the spheres of influence, “mentioned the top of Ukrainian diplomacy.

Andriy Zagorodnyuk, Ukraine’s protection minister between 2019 and 2020 and presently an advisor to the president, Volodímir Zelenski, advised EL PAÍS on Skype that any concession from Washington “will only make the situation worse and the red lines go further.” “It would be a big mistake to give in to Russia right now because it would be seen as a sign of America’s weakness,” mentioned Zagorodnyuk, who additionally chairs the Center for Defense Strategies.

“It’s ridiculous and it doesn’t make any sense for NATO to go back to its 1997 position. The Russians consciously make unrealistic demands. The question is what will happen next, when Europe says ‘no, we do not accept their demands,’ added Zagorodnyuk. According to the advisor to the Ukrainian president, “the war is as far or near as it was a month ago.” “Now they don’t have enough troops deployed for it. They could carry out limited operations, but to sustain an open war they need more soldiers. But if the negotiations do not achieve a breakthrough, and there is a great possibility of it, they will deploy more, ”warned Zagorodnyuk.

This Monday’s assembly is a part of the spherical of talks on the Strategic Security Dialogue discussion board that Biden and Putin determined to launch on the summit they each held final June, additionally in Geneva. This open channel additionally addresses different points equivalent to nuclear weapons, however the Ukrainian disaster emerges as probably the most pressing drawback.

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