NATO and Russia have failed to resolve “significant differences” over Ukraine, but talks could continue.

The second of the three Diplomatic engagements No significant progress was made this week between the Western powers and Russia on Wednesday, but NATO allies appear to be buying some time. Russian military invasion of Ukraine.

Speaking in Brussels after a four-hour meeting of the NATO-Russia Council on Wednesday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said talks between the 30 members of NATO and Moscow were “not easy” and that Europe The threat of an armed conflict remains. Real ”

“We had a very serious and direct discussion on the situation in and around Ukraine and the implications for European security. There are significant differences between NATO allies and Russia on these issues,” Stoltenberg said.

“It will not be easy to resolve our differences, but it is a positive sign that all NATO allies and Russia are sitting at the same table and discussing important issues,” he added.

Stoltenberg and Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, who led the US delegation to the talks and spoke at a separate press conference, said NATO allies had suggested a number of areas where talks with Russia could continue. Including increasing the transparency of military exercises, reducing space and cyber threats, and dealing with weapons control and non-proliferation.

NATO Russia Council
An overview of the NATO-Russia Council at the Alliance’s headquarters in Brussels on 12 January 2022.

NATO / Pool / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Stoltenberg said the Russian delegation said it was “not ready” for future talks, but indicated “general consent” to continue diplomatic engagements.

Central stalemate – Ukraine’s accession to NATO – not resolved Stoltenberg has repeatedly said that there will be no compromise on NATO’s “basic principle” that every nation can choose its own path.

Sharmeen repeated, as he had done the following Monday. Bilateral talks In Geneva, neither the United States nor its NATO allies will agree that the alliance cannot expand to include Ukraine or any other country that meets its membership criteria.

“We were basically telling the Russians, some of the things you put on the table are non-starters for us,” he said.

Sherman said there was no indication that Russia would deploy troops along the Ukrainian border.

“There was no commitment to end the continuity,” he said. “And there was no statement that it would not happen.”

Russia began gathering tens of thousands of troops on its border with Ukraine in the fall, and last month issued a series of demands, including a guarantee from Western powers that Ukraine would never join NATO. Will not be allowed. The Russians have called the alliance a “tool of confrontation.”

The United States and NATO have for weeks rejected this and other demands made by the Kremlin, while expressing openness to engage in other security issues, including arms control.

“There’s a lot to work on, where we have areas where we can increase mutual security. There are areas we can’t do. But there can be progress,” Sharmeen said. Said.

“We all have to go back to our governments to decide what to do next,” he said.

NATO’s Stoltenberg also said on Wednesday that the alliance had proposed, without preconditions, the reopening of both the NATO office in Moscow and Russia’s mission in NATO. Close In October, after the controversy over calling NATO “unannounced Russian intelligence officers.”

“We believe in dialogue. And we believe that these offices, these diplomatic staff, are part of the infrastructure that we need meaningful dialogue,” Stoltenberg said.

This week’s third and final diplomatic meeting will take place in Vienna on Thursday, where a group of 57 countries comprising the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) – including the United States, Russia and Ukraine – will meet extensively. Chat