Russia sees no reason to resume talks on Ukraine crisis, threatens to act after ‘impasse’

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Russia said on Thursday it was at an impasse in its efforts to persuade the West to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO and roll back decades of alliance expansion in Europe, and has threatened with unspecified consequences in response.

According to the TASS news agency, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Russian military specialists were offering options to President Vladimir Putin in case the situation around Ukraine worsens, but diplomacy must have a chance. .

He said talks with the United States in Geneva on Monday and with NATO in Brussels on Wednesday had shown there was an “impasse or difference in approaches”, and he saw no reason to sit back. the next few days to relaunch the same discussions.

Russia has forced the United States and its allies to the negotiating table by mustering around 100,000 troops near the border with Ukraine, while denying its intention to invade.

He gave a stark assessment of this week’s diplomacy before it was even over, as talks got under way in Vienna on Thursday at the 57-nation Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. (OSCE).

“If we do not hear a constructive response to our proposals within a reasonable time and the aggressive behavior towards (Russia) continues, we will have to take the necessary steps to ensure strategic balance and eliminate unacceptable threats to our security. national,” the Russian mission to the OSCE said on Twitter, citing its ambassador Alexander Lukashevich.

Poland’s foreign minister said in Vienna that Europe was closer to war than at any time in the past 30 years and the US envoy said the West should not give in to blackmail.

Russia says that after decades of NATO expansion, it is determined to draw red lines and prevent the alliance from admitting Ukraine as a member or basing missiles there.

US says Russian demands to veto Ukraine’s membership and end NATO military activity in Eastern Europe are futile, but open to talks with Moscow on arms control, missile deployments and confidence-building measures.

Ryabkov said the United States and its NATO allies were “not ready to meet our primary demands” and were only ready to discuss issues of secondary importance to Moscow.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the talks this week had given “positive shades” but that was not enough. He said disagreement remained on fundamental issues.

He criticized a sanctions bill unveiled by US Senate Democrats on Wednesday that would target senior Russian government and military officials, including President Vladimir Putin, as well as major banking institutions, if Russia attacks the ‘Ukraine.

Peskov said sanctioning Putin would mean severing relations.

“We view the appearance of such documents and statements extremely negatively in the context of an ongoing, albeit unsuccessful, round of negotiations,” he said.

Risk of warAt the OSCE talks in Vienna, Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau called for a peaceful resolution on Ukraine.

“It seems that the risk of war in the OSCE area is now greater than at any time in the last 30 years,” Rau said in a speech, without naming Russia.

US Ambassador Michael Carpenter told the OSCE meeting: “As we prepare for an open dialogue on how to strengthen security for the benefit of all, we must decisively reject blackmail and never allow aggression and threats to be rewarded”.

Russia has said it will decide its next actions after the talks this week. He threatened unspecified “military-technical measures” if his demands were denied.

US Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman said on Wednesday that if Russia pulled out, it would show it was never serious about diplomacy.

The United States has largely chosen the options for sanctions against Russia in the event of an invasion of Ukraine and will be ready to impose them as soon as tanks arrive, senior Biden administration officials said on Wednesday.

(Reuters)

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