State Department spokesman Ned Price said during Sunday’s dinner Sherman “stressed the United States’ commitment to the international principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and the freedom of sovereign nations to choose their own alliances,” a reference to Ukraine and its aspirations of joining NATO. Many analysts say any such accession would be years away at best.

Senior U.S. and Russian officials launched special talks Monday on strategic stability, part of a flurry of diplomatic activity in Europe this week aimed at defusing tensions over a Russian military buildup on the border with Ukraine, though no major breakthrough was immediately in sight, AP reports.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and his delegation arrived under Swiss police escort at the U.S. diplomatic mission in Geneva for face-to-face talks with Wendy Sherman, the U.S. deputy secretary of state, and her team. The meeting is part of “Strategic Security Dialogue” talks on arms control and other broad issues launched by Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin during a June summit in the Swiss city.

After an informal working dinner on Sunday, Ryabkov predicted “difficult” talks in Geneva that are to be followed by a NATO-Russia meeting

Moscow has sought to wrest a string of concessions from the U.S. and its Western allies, including guarantees that NATO will no longer expand eastward into former Soviet states like Ukraine, along whose border Russia has amassed an estimated 100,000 troops in steps that have raised concerns about a possible military intervention there.

Read more

 

© Copyright LaPresse