Sputnik and Afp

La Jornada newspaper
Monday, January 10, 2022, p. 24

Geneva. Preliminary discussions between Russia and the United States in Geneva on the establishment of security guarantees ended well, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Riabkov declared yesterday.

Everything was great, said the diplomat at the end of the negotiations with the US delegation, led by Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman.

Riabkov added that the conversation was difficult but practical and expressed confidence that the parties will engage in the main Russian-US negotiations on strategic stability to be held on January 10 in Geneva. I never lose optimism, he added.

Meanwhile, Washington has established that it will not discuss European security with Moscow without its partners and allies in Europe, according to statements by US State Department spokesman Ned Price. He added that Undersecretary Wendy Sherman, who held preliminary negotiations with Russian Deputy Minister Sergey Riabkov on Sunday, reaffirmed the Joe Biden government’s commitment to the principles of sovereignty of the countries.

The undersecretary of state emphasized the US commitment to the international principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and the freedom of sovereign nations to choose their own alliances, said Price.

Hours earlier, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken pointed out that Russia had to choose between dialogue and the path of confrontation.

Meanwhile, Moscow excluded any concessions in talks with Washington, Riabkov said. The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, stated that the issue of Ukraine, within the framework of the security dialogue with Russia, should be dealt with with the participation of the Kiev government.

Tensions have risen since Russia began stationing tens of thousands of troops on the border with Ukraine, in exchange for guarantees that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) would not continue to expand towards its borders.

The current talks focus on the control of nuclear weapons and the rise of war tensions around Ukraine.

On January 12, the aforementioned issues will be discussed again at a meeting of the Russia-NATO Council in Brussels and, the following day in Vienna, during an assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

On December 17, the Russian Foreign Ministry published its proposals for the United States and NATO on security guarantees in Europe in which it is proposed, among other things, that the Atlantic Alliance commit to contain the expansion of the bloc and exclude the accession of the former Soviet republics.