eight hours of discussions without any real progress

eight hours of discussions without any real progress

After eight hours of tête-à-tête in Geneva, the Russian and American representatives showed signs of appeasement. But their positions have not changed.

US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman called the exchanges ” frank and direct “. His Russian counterpart Sergey Ryabkov judged them ” long and difficult “. But after eight hours of talks in Geneva, and while these negotiations were announced under high tension, the tone was calmer between Washington and Moscow.

On the bottom, however, the lines have not really moved, each party sticking to its positions. If Russia has reaffirmed that it does not want to attack Ukraine, it has not given in to Washington’s request to withdraw the troops massed at its border where they are officially carrying out maneuvers and exercises.

These eight hours of discussions therefore made it possible above all to remind people of the lines not to be crossed. Saying to himself ” satisfied »Of the seriousness with which the Americans greeted the Russian requests to guarantee its security vis-a-vis NATO, Sergei Ryabkov nevertheless warned: Moscow will never let Ukraine join the Atlantic Alliance. ” A real gesture towards Russia must be made “, He insisted. Concessions must be made ” quickly “.

The prospect that Ukraine may one day join NATO is regularly denounced by Russia, which sees it as a threat to its own security, justifying the sending of some 100,000 soldiers to the border between the two countries. The Kremlin says the West is provoking Russia by stationing the military at its gates and arming the Ukrainian army. He therefore calls for two treaties to prohibit any future expansion of NATO and the end of Western military maneuvers near Russian borders.

Washington will never let one country decide in place of another whether or not it can join NATO, replied its American counterpart. The ” open door policy Of the Atlantic Alliance will continue despite Russian demands.

Monday’s talks in Geneva kick off an intense diplomatic week. A NATO-Russia meeting is scheduled for Wednesday in Brussels, before a meeting on Thursday in Vienna of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), an East-West dialogue platform resulting from the Cold War.