Senior officials to lead Russia-US security talks in Geneva

Russian troops have arrived in their tens of thousands near the border with Ukraine over the past two months, triggering concern among Western countries that an attack on Ukraine is imminent. Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and the United States Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman will meet in Geneva on January 10 to discuss Ukraine and the security situation in Europe.

This content was published on December 30, 2021 minutes

The Russian foreign ministry revealed the heads of delegation for the bilateral talks on Thursday, hours before a scheduled telephone discussion between Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden was to take place amid tensions over Ukraine. The leaders met in Geneva last June for a summit they described as positive and constructive. Since then Sherman and Ryabkov have met in the Swiss city for a series of dialogue on arms control.

On January 10 Russia will seek “firm legal guarantees” from the US that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) would not expand further east and that the West would not deploy weapons near its border, the Reuters news agency reported a foreign ministry spokesperson as saying.

Tens of thousands of Russian troops have arrived near the border with Ukraine over the last two months, triggering concern among Western countries that Moscow was planning an attack. The Kremlin has denied such a plan was in the works, and instead sees support for Ukraine from NATO, the US and the European Union as a direct threat to its security. Putin has in the past indicated Ukrainian membership in NATO would be a “red line” for the Kremlin.

After Geneva, Russia will hold talks with NATO in Brussels on January 12. This will be followed by a meeting with the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna on January 13 attended by the US and other NATO allies, as well as Russia, Ukraine and other former Soviet states.

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