Russia sees no reason to resume talks on Ukraine crisis, threatens measures after “dead end”
Russia said on Thursday that it was at a dead end in its efforts to persuade the West to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO and roll back decades of alliance expansion in Europe, and threatened with unspecified consequences in response.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted by the TASS news agency as saying that Russian military specialists would provide alternatives to President Vladimir Putin if the situation around Ukraine worsened, but diplomacy must be given a chance.
He said talks with the United States in Geneva on Monday and with NATO in Brussels on Wednesday had shown that there was a “dead end or difference in approach”, and that he saw no reason to sit down again in the coming days to resume. same discussions.
Russia has forced the United States and its allies to the negotiating table by gathering around 100,000 troops near the border with Ukraine, while denying that they plan to invade.
It gave a sharp assessment of this week’s diplomacy before it had even ended, as talks were taking place in Vienna on Thursday at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe with 57 countries. (OSCE).
“If we do not hear constructive responses to our proposals within a reasonable time frame and aggressive behavior towards (Russia) continues, we must take the necessary measures to ensure strategic balance and eliminate unacceptable threats to our national security,” the Russian mission told SA OSCE on Twitter and quoted its ambassador Alexander Lukashevich.
The Polish Foreign Minister said in Vienna that Europe was closer to war than at any time in the last 30 years, and the US envoy said that the West should not give in to blackmail.
Russia says that after decades of NATO expansion, it is determined to draw red lines and stop the alliance from taking Ukraine as a member or basing missiles there.
The United States says Russia’s demands to veto Ukrainian membership and halt NATO’s military activity in Eastern Europe are non-starters, but they are willing to talk to Moscow about arms control, missile deployment and confidence-building measures.
Ryabkov said the United States and its NATO allies “were not ready to meet our key requirements” and were only ready to discuss issues of secondary importance to Moscow.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that this week’s talks had given some “positive nuances” but were not enough. He said disagreement persisted on fundamental issues.
He criticized a sanctions proposal presented by US Senate Democrats on Wednesday that would target Russian government and military officials, including President Vladimir Putin, as well as key banking institutions, if Russia attacks Ukraine.
Peskov said sanctions against Putin would be tantamount to breaking ties.
“We view the appearance of such documents and statements extremely negatively in the light of an ongoing series of negotiations, albeit unsuccessful ones,” he said.
Risk of war
During 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 ever before 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 we can strengthen security for the benefit of all, we must resolutely reject blackmail and never allow aggression and threats to be rewarded.”
Russia has said it will decide on its next move after this week’s talks. It has threatened unspecified “military-technical measures” if its demands are rejected.
US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said on Wednesday that if Russia left, it would show that diplomacy was never serious in the first place.
The United States has largely decided on options for sanctions against Russia if it invades Ukraine and will be prepared to impose them as soon as some tanks roll, senior Biden administration officials said on Wednesday.