Delegations from the United States, NATO and other international partners will meet abroad this week for several rounds of high-level diplomatic talks with Russia, as Moscow continues its military buildup and other destabilization activities near its border. ۔.
Over the past several months, Russia hasMore than 100,000 troops on Ukraine’s eastern border, and according to U.S. officials, launched an offensive. Its actions have raised fears among Western and Ukrainian officials that an attack could take place later this month.
The United States, the G7, NATO and the European Union each have.For the Russian invasion. The United States has said it will continue to strengthen Ukraine’s military defenses, and that NATO will move forward to strengthen its eastern part.
Who and where are you meeting?
Next week, three different groups are meeting on different days in Geneva, Switzerland, Brussels, Belgium and Vienna, Austria. Each session is expected to focus on a variety of security issues, although some may overlap.
- Monday, January 10 – Strategic Stability Dialogue: In Geneva on Monday, a US delegation led by Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman will hold bilateral meetings with Russian counterparts at a forum called Strategic Stability Dialogue (SSD).
The SSD focuses on weapons control and nuclear deterrence, and recently met in July and September. It was resumed after a presidential summit in Geneva in June, where Presidents Biden and Putin agreed that “nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”
- Wednesday, January 12 – NATO-Russia Council meetingAll 30 representatives of the NATO alliance and Russia’s envoy will meet at NATO headquarters in Brussels. Deputy Secretary Sharmeen will also lead the US delegation to the meeting.
The NATO-Russia Council was established in 2002 as a forum for information exchange between the Security Alliance and Moscow, although its work was largely suspended in 2014 following Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea. ۔ The deteriorating relationship has been strained since July 2019 – which was further strained in October 2021 after NATO. What he said was that there were 8 unannounced Russian intelligence officers.
- Thursday, January 13 – OSCE Standing Council Meeting: OSCE representatives will convene a meeting in Vienna, Austria. The United States will be represented by Ambassador Michael Carpenter, a former deputy secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine, Eurasia and conventional weapons control, and a foreign policy adviser to then-Vice President Biden.
The OSCE, meaning “Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe”, is a group of 57 European, Asian, African and North American countries working on a wide range of security issues, including arms control. Conflict resolution, counter-terrorism and other areas. Founded in Helsinki, Finland in the 1970’s, the group was originally formed to promote dialogue between East and West, with Russia as a member.
According to a State Department redout, Deputy Secretary Sherman and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov met in Geneva on Sunday evening, where the two sides discussed issues to be addressed on Monday and in the coming days.
Finally, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will also meet with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Coliba during a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission in Brussels on Monday, where the US will be represented by the recently confirmed US Ambassador to NATO, Julie Smith. Will do
Will Presidents Biden and Putin be included?
No, the presidents are not expected to attend any of the meetings next week. Their last direct conversation was a phone call on December 31, 2021, at Mr Putin’s request.
What issues will be addressed?
Resolved issues will depend on the forum. No public agenda has been released.
The first bilateral meeting on January 10 is expected to focus on weapons control issues, from conventional nuclear weapons to non-conventional weapons such as hypersonic weapons, space and cyber technologies.
On Sunday, Secretary of State Anthony Blanken said renewal of an agreement with Russia “could be the basis” that governs the deployment of intermediate nuclear forces in Europe. The Trump administrationCiting repeated violations by Russia.
Blinken also said the United States was ready to resolve the “scope and scale” of military exercises in Europe, provided Russia responded. He said that reduction of army level was not being considered.
On Wednesday, the NATO-Russia Council is expected to address some of the public demands Russia has made, including security guarantees from the alliance that it will not extend to the east. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has already said that the alliance alone will determine its future membership.
U.S. officials have consistently said that the United States is working closely with its allies on the agenda of each session, emphasizing the phrase, “nothing about you, without you” – emphasizing that. Given that there will be no security talks without European allies, including Ukraine. , Current.
In remarks at the State Department on Friday, Secretary of State Anthony Blanken said Ukraine’s security would be “front and center” in all talks.
“We will make the point at each of these forums that aggression against Ukraine will have far-reaching consequences,” he said.
What do the Russians want?
Last month, the Russians unveiled an eight-point draft security proposal that includes a.
These include, among others, the pledge that Ukraine will never join NATO. Withdraw military weapons and halt exercises after 1997. And a ban on the deployment of medium-range ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons from foreign national territories.
Although US and NATO officials have already rejected some Russian proposals, they have said that some, including arms control and increased transparency in military activities, could serve as a starting point for negotiations.
What do the Western powers want?
First and foremost, Western powers want signals from Moscow to ease tensions, which have yet to materialize.
Blanken said on Friday that Russia had gathered about 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border, “planning to double that number on a very short order.”
US officials have otherwise been more careful in detailing their demands regarding Moscow. Top administration officials have said they will present a detailed “shadow” of concerns in due course, but have declined to say what the United States hopes to achieve or reject Russia’s public demands. Is.
What are the prospects for diplomatic progress?
A wholesale breakthrough is not impossible, but very unlikely. As these are complex issues that are being discussed by various stakeholders in various places, the pace of dialogue is likely to increase and fragment. Russian and US officials expressed frustration over the weekend.
In remarks after a meeting of foreign ministers on Friday, Stoltenberg of NATO said the alliance had a “double track” approach to Moscow and that while it would prioritize dialogue and a political solution, it would We also have to be prepared for diplomacy to fail. ”
Blankenship said Sunday that the United States was “committed to dialogue and diplomacy” but that it would deal with Russia “very strongly” if Russia escalated the conflict.
So what does all this mean about the possibility of an attack?
This means that the threat of an attack is still real and severe. Russia has shown no signs of withdrawing its forces since its inception. U.S. defense and intelligence officials say Russian units are ready for a rapid, large-scale attack.
Stoltenberg stressed on Friday that Russia’s military buildup is “not a stop”.
“We see armored units, we see artillery, we see troops ready for war. We see electronic warfare equipment and we see a lot of different military capabilities, which are slowly gaining ground in Ukraine,” he said. And they’re building around it. ” “Abilities, rhetoric and track record certainly send a message that there is a real danger of a new armed conflict in Europe.”
“[T]o To make real progress, it is very difficult to see what happens when there is a growing tension, when Russia has a gun to Ukraine’s head, “Blankenship said Sunday.