NAfter the crisis talks between Russia and Western states, the United States has once again warned Moscow urgently against a further escalation in the Ukraine conflict. The national security advisor to President Joe Biden, Jake Sullivan, said on Thursday with a view to the Russian troop deployment on the border with Ukraine: “It is certainly the case that the risk of a military invasion is high.” The secret services have not yet been closed came to the assessment “that the Russians have finally decided on military action in Ukraine”. Sullivan once again called on Moscow to de-escalate and reduce the number of soldiers in the region.
The security advisor said: “We and our allies are prepared for any eventuality.” This applies both to diplomatic negotiations and in the event that Russian President Vladimir Putin seeks military escalation. “We made Russia very clear about the costs and consequences of further military actions or the destabilization of Ukraine.” Sullivan threatened Moscow again with economic and financial sanctions, with export control measures and with arming Ukraine “if the Russian military crossed the Ukrainian border “.
Representatives of the 30 NATO countries and Russia held talks on Wednesday for the first time in two and a half years – about the Ukraine conflict and security guarantees that Moscow is demanding from the transatlantic military alliance. There was also a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on Thursday. A high-level meeting of representatives of Russia and the United States was held in Geneva on Monday.
Russia sees its security threatened by NATO and is therefore calling for an end to NATO’s eastward expansion and, in particular, for renouncing the admission of Ukraine. The United States categorically rejects such a commitment. Western states, on the other hand, are alarmed by the Russian troop deployment near Ukraine.
Sullivan said, “The talks were frank and direct, they were useful.” The United States would now consult with its allies on how to proceed. There are currently no dates for new talks with Russia. Moscow was disappointed with the negotiations. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the Interfax agency that there were no new talks with the United States for the time being.
No comment on the withdrawal of nuclear weapons
Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock called for talks with Russia to be continued, regardless of the lack of results. “Even if there have been no real movements at the moment, it is important to finally return to the dialogue table,” said the Green politician on Thursday on the sidelines of an EU meeting in Brest, France. “The important thing is that we are sitting at the table, that discussions are taking place now. And that – even when it is tough – with a lot, a lot of patience and perseverance. “
With a view to the possible stationing of Russian troops in Cuba and Venezuela, Sullivan said: “If Russia were to move in this direction, we would act decisively.” He did not give details. The government in Moscow had not ruled out such a step in the event of the failure of talks on binding security guarantees.
It is so far unclear whether there could be compromises. On the question of whether, from their point of view, the withdrawal of nuclear weapons from countries such as Germany, demanded by Russia, should be discussed, Baerbock did not want to comment specifically in Brest. “Disarmament issues must and should be discussed. But now that you’ve just sat down at the table, I don’t openly comment on any individual considerations, ”she said.
Klitschko calls for German help
Baerbock plans to travel to Moscow next week and meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov there. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, it will be Lavrov’s first personal meeting with the new German Foreign Minister.
In view of concerns about a Russian attack on Ukraine, the mayor of Kiev, Vitali Klitschko, also expects support from the German government. Germany is reluctant to supply his country with defensive weapons – in his view out of fear of further provoking Putin. “This position is difficult to understand”, he said “Bild”.
Regarding the negotiations between the United States and Russia on the security of Ukraine without his country’s direct participation, Klitschko said it was a slap in the face. The United States has given assurances that no decisions on Ukraine would be made in negotiations with Russia without involving the country.