Hopes of resolving tensions in Ukraine are low

A customer wears a protective mask in a cafe, and the TV screen shows Russian President Vladimir Putin (Vladimir Putin).

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U.S. and Russian officials gathered in Geneva on Monday to begin a series of high-risk talks, as tensions in Ukraine are still higher than ever.

In recent months, Russia has been establishing a military presence on the border with Ukraine, which has raised concerns about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plan to invade the country. Russia denies this claim, saying it has the right to deploy troops in its own territory.

Putin sought assurances from US President Joe Biden in discussions last month that Ukraine will not be accepted by NATO because it believes that the further eastward expansion of the Western military alliance is a security threat. Biden refused to make such a guarantee.

Secretary of State Anthony Brinken said in an interview with ABC News in the United States on Sunday that as long as tensions at the Ukrainian border remain high, he does not expect any progress in relations with Russia.

“If we really want to make progress in these negotiations starting next week, but I don’t think we will see any breakthroughs next week, we will listen to their concerns, they will listen to our opinions. Concerns, we will see if There are reasons for progress. But to make actual progress, it is difficult to see this happen when the situation continues to escalate,” Brinken said.

He added that “Russia has 100,000 soldiers near its border and has guns at the head of Ukraine” and may increase this number in a short period of time. “So if we see the situation ease, if we see the tension ease, then we can make real progress in this environment and once again resolve the concerns and legitimate concerns of both parties.”

The essence of the meeting

The world is paying attention to the progress of the negotiations on signs of the thawing of the cold relationship between the United States and Russia.

Since Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, interference in the 2016 U.S. election, the nerve agent attack in the United Kingdom in 2018, and the creation of North Stream 2 Natural Gas, tensions have risen sharply in many ways between Russia and Germany. The pipeline and other issues.

White House spokesperson Jen Psaki finally told reporters that the United States and its allies will raise election interference, weapons agreements, Ukraine and other issues in security negotiations with Russia. Wednesday.

Told reporters At the White House briefing, Psaki said: “Of course Russia has raised…European security issues. Let us be clear: In the past two decades, Russia has invaded two neighboring countries and interfered in many other elections… The assassination was carried out on foreign territory and violated the international arms control agreement.”

“We and our allies will raise these and other issues with Russia in the coming days and weeks, of course as part of these talks. Of course, we must not forget Russia’s continued military occupation in Ukraine,” she pointed out, referring to The ongoing conflict in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian forces have been fighting Ukrainian forces for many years.

high risk

The security discussion on Monday was the first topic in a series of meetings between Russia and the West this week. The Russian Council and NATO will be held in Brussels on Wednesday and security and European cooperation in Vienna on Thursday.

How Biden manages Russia and his Russian counterparts are being closely watched by Atlantic Council Chairman and CEO Fred Kempe, who noted on Monday that this week’s talks “may be the most important thing for Biden in his entire presidency. An important week” foreign policy perspective. “

“European history knows that tyrants threaten more benevolent actors. We have seen this picture before. But we must remind and show who is the real aggressor. This is an information game, but at the same time Putin can really take military action. , If he wants. We are really on the cusp of war. If he wants war to happen, Putin can let it happen. This will seriously harm Russia and it will cause irreparable harm to Europe,” he told CNBC’s Capital on Monday Connection.