Monday, January 17, 2022

Kremlin: Russia-US talks do not inspire any significant optimism. Nation World News

MOSCOW ( Associated Press) – The Kremlin said on Tuesday it saw “no significant cause for optimism” after much-anticipated Russia-US talks on Ukraine and other security issues.

Talks aimed at de-escalating tensions on Ukraine took place in Geneva on Monday and showed no signs of immediate progress. Moscow insisted on guarantees to halt NATO’s eastern expansion and even withdraw the deployment of military alliances in Eastern Europe – demands that Washington had previously strongly dismissed as a nonstarter.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday that the way the talks took place – “open, comprehensive and direct” – “deserved a positive assessment,” but it is the outcome that matters. “So far, let’s say, we do not see any significant reason for optimism,” Peskov said in a conference call with reporters.

“There are still several rounds (of talks) ahead of us, which will allow us to work on a clearer understanding, a clearer picture of where we stand with Americans. For now, unfortunately, it is impossible to draw any conclusions, ”said the spokesperson.

Last month, Moscow submitted draft security documents that called for the denial of Ukraine and other former Soviet countries’ membership of NATO and the withdrawal of the coalition’s military deployments in Central and Eastern Europe. Washington and its allies declined to make such a pledge, but said they were open to talks.

The demands contained in a proposed Russia-US security pact and a security pact between Moscow and NATO were drawn up amid rising tensions over the creation of a Russian military near Ukraine, raising fears of a possible invasion. Russia has denied that it has plans to attack its neighbour, but pressed for legal guarantees that would rule out NATO expansion and weapons deployment there.

Representatives of Moscow and NATO are expected to meet on Wednesday after the Russia-US meeting in Geneva on Monday. Russia is also holding a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe this week, which also includes the United States.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Russian state TV on Tuesday that diplomatic work was ongoing and there was “no cause for concern”.

“The work is ongoing, it will continue tomorrow, we are focused on achieving results as a process of negotiations and agreements, which we informed in advance in terms of determining our position. I worry see no reason for it,” said Zakharova.

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