(ConservativeHub.com) – Ukraine has been at the center of tensions between the US and Russia. Currently, Russia is digging its heels in about Ukraine joining NATO. During talks with the US, it appears the former Soviet nation isn’t ready to step back.
Here’s a report on the recent developments.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman spoke in Geneva, Switzerland, on January 10. They held discussions concerning Ukraine, specifically about Russian troops on the border and Ukraine joining NATO. Despite the long day they spent talking, both officials admitted they did not reach any resolutions, and each leader held separate press conferences after their meeting. NPR published a report detailing the comments made by both leaders after the meeting.
Ryabkov said Ukraine joining NATO is one of the sticking points between his country and the US. He stated Russia would not stop trying to prevent Ukraine from joining the organization, adding that his government is not happy with the continued talks and the lack of commitment to unify on the topic.
The deputy foreign minister firmly noted his country wants an ironclad agreement stating Ukraine will never be allowed into NATO. He also said Russia has no intention to attack Ukraine, but said that trying to exclude it from NATO is a national security matter.
Ryabkov seemed willing to go through with more meetings, including one recently held on January 11 in Brussels with NATO allies and another in Vienna on January 12 with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. He remarked the outcomes of those meetings would impact how Russia moves forward, threatening that continued NATO presence in Eastern Europe would negatively impact the security situation across Europe.
Sherman said the discussion was straightforward and professional, but the US will not allow any nation to prevent another from joining NATO. He pointed out that Russia has no right to decide what NATO does or who it admits.
She also remarked that there is no way the US will make any decision about Ukraine without its equal input and countered Ryabkov by saying Russia needs to deescalate the situation at the border or face US sanctions.
Sherman did seem optimistic that there are some remaining talking points where the two countries can find common ground, such as making military actions more transparent and setting guidelines for military exercises.
Officials in the US remain alert to the possibility of an impending Russian invasion of Ukraine, even though Russia claims it isn’t planning an attack. With no recent troop additions, there is worry Russian President Vladimir Putin may be planning alternative types of attacks, which the US is also preparing to combat. The US will stay involved in the upcoming talks with Russia and remains open to more one-on-one meetings.
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