On Sunday, Russia ruled out any concession talk with the United States over Ukraine on soaring tension as Moscow seeks a wide-ranging new security arrangement with the West. However, it faced strong pressure to pull back troops.
Ahead of the talks in Geneva, Russia’s deputy foreign Sergei Ryabkov said the Kremlin was also “disappointed” with the signals coming from Washington and Brussel. Here the European Union and NATO are based. He said, “we will not agree to any concession. That is completely excluded. We are disappointed with the signals coming in the last few days from Washington but also from Brussels”.
With the high-level meetings, the United States tries to reassure European allies that they will not be sidelined during a week of diplomacy during which Russia will meet with NATO and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Since last year, Russia has been amassed by the thousands of troops located at the Ukraine border. It demands guarantees that NATO will not further expand eastward. In response, the Kremlin said NATO should never grant membership to the ex-Soviet Ukraine.
On Friday, US States Secretary Antony Blinken dismissed Moscow’s demand and said, “We are prepared to respond forcefully to further Russian aggression. But a diplomatic solution is still possible and preferable if Russia chooses it.