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No Sign of Progress in U.S. and Russia Talks Over Ukraine

National

Biden and Putin. | Image from Politico

The United States and Russia are presently at a standstill over security issues, including Ukraine. Russian troops are currently gathering along Ukraine’s border while the U.S. and Russia have come to a stalemate after a round of negotiations on Monday.

Russian officials have told America that they had no plans to invade Ukraine.

“There is no reason to fear some kind of escalatory scenario,” said Sergei A Ryabkov, who is a Russian deputy foreign minister. “The talks were difficult, long, very professional, deep, concrete, without attempts to gloss over some sharp edges. We had a feeling that the American side took the Russian proposals very seriously and studied them deeply.”

According to Wendy Sherman, the lead American diplomat, the U.S. provided push back on security proposals they disagreed with, including Russia’s demands to bar Ukraine from being admitted into NATO.

“We will not allow anyone to slam closed NATO’s open-door policy, which has always been central to the NATO alliance,” said Sherman. “We will not make a decision about Ukraine without Ukraine, about Europe without Europe, or about NATO without NATO.”

Sherman also mentioned that the U.S. and Russia also discussed the possibility of breathing life into the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which the U.S. left in 2019 after years of accusing Russia of violations. She said that both parties discussed where their intermediate-range missiles are located.

Even so, Russia insists that their demands don’t cease at arms control but rather extend into a wholesale redrawing of the security map in Europe. Last month, President Vladimir Putin said that if Russia does not get what it wants, the Kremlin is prepared to resort to military means.

While the meeting on Monday wound up being a stalemate, U.S. officials were relieved knowing that Russia had not escalated their demands or completely walked away from talks altogether. Russia has said they would like to resolve the issue this month, but NATO is wary that Putin is looking for a pretext for invasion.

Ukraine was not present during the talks on Monday and was not involved in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe meeting on Thursday in Vienna.

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