Russia, United States Host Working Dinner to Open Geneva Talks | Economic news
By KONSTANTIN MANENKOV and JAMEY KEATEN, Associated Press
GENEVA (AP) – Senior Russian and US officials hosted a working dinner in Geneva on Sunday as part of a series of meetings in three European cities kicked off this week, with bilateral ties at an all-time low on the subject of the military build-up of Russia near Ukraine.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and other Russian officials arrived in the evening for a meeting at the residence of the US ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament, diplomatic officials said. The luxury apartment overlooks Lake Geneva. Ryabkov was meeting with US Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and her team.
Earlier on Sunday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told state television that a first round of “small format” security talks would begin today, the agency said. Tass press release.
Sunday’s less formal talks precede a larger discussion between the two diplomats and their teams at the US mission in Geneva from Monday, a first step towards resuming dialogue as ties have deteriorated because Russia has deployed around 100,000 troops along its border with Ukraine. . Concerns have grown about a larger Russian military incursion into the country.
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The government of Russian President Vladimir Putin has drawn up a list of demands, such as seeking guarantees that the NATO military alliance will not seek to expand further east to countries like Ukraine or Georgia, which are former Soviet republics.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told ABC’s “This Week” Sunday that he did not expect any breakthrough in bilateral talks in Geneva or in conversations in Brussels, during a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council and the Organization for Co-operation and Security in Europe in Vienna later this week.
The United States and other Western allies have promised Russia “high costs” if it acts against Ukraine.
“The question really now is whether President Putin will take the path of diplomacy and dialogue or seek confrontation,” Blinken said.
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