Editorial

US-Russia talks, fear and tact side by side

Written by The Frontier Post

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov and US First Deputy Secretary of State, Wendy Sherman met in Geneva along with their delegations to discuss Russia’s proposed Security Guarantees on Sunday. According to the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, the topic of the future Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (START) was touched upon during the meeting on security guarantees. Ryabkov further said that Russia will not deviate from its requirements for security guarantees, a balance of interests between the Russian Federation and NATO alliance can be found even in this situation.

According to Ryabkov, the draft documents submitted by the US and NATO were formulated so directly, firmly and without elements of ambiguity inadmissible in this case, that it seems to be admonish, or an attempt to exert pressure on Russia. Ryabkov said that the Russian side had explained to Americans, that they have no plans to attack Ukraine, and all measures for the combat training of troops and forces are carried out within Russia’s national territory and there is no reason to fear any escalation scenario in this regard. According to Ryabkov, Russia had clarified the US that why it sees an imperative in the non-expansion of NATO, importance of legal guarantees, and assurance of non-deployment of appropriate strike weapons that can hit targets at or within Russian borders as well as abandonment of the states that joined NATO for the period after 1997? After talks with the Russian delegation, US First Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said that the US will decide to continue negotiations with Russia following all contacts this week. According to her, Washington is open to discuss issues including military exercises and missile deployment in Europe; however it will not allow anyone to restrict NATO’s open door policy.

The United States and Russia had reached at top-level tension after massive Russian military buildup near Ukrainian borders during recent months. The Senior Diplomats of the rival nations met in Geneva to discuss what Russia says binding security guarantees and America terms them security proposals to decrease tension between the two nations. Russia stated its military buildup was a defensive measure in the context of NATO’s expansion and its military activities in Central and Eastern European states, the backyard of Russian Federation. According to reports, the hour’s long Security talks could not achieve any positive result and both opponents withheld their previous positions. Russia urged the United States that NATO must not admit the countries who joined the alliance after 1997 while referring to former Soviet member states and demanded legal binding guarantees instead of verbal assurances of its opposing powers.

During the talks, the US advocated NATO’s open door policy and its operational activities in Eastern Europe. According to experts, both sides did not demonstrate flexibility and played their cards without leaving any choice for the opponent. Wendy Sherman adopted an aggressive doctrine while Ryabkov warned the US about redeployment of Intermediate Range Nuclear Missile (INF) in Europe if US-Russia talks fail, whereas America is mulling to clamp down on the Russian economy through imposition of additional economic and financial sanctions. Although negotiations are still continuing between the parties, however, any positive outcome is less likely to take place because of radical behavior and inflexible approaches of competing powers.

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