After three days of talks, NATO and Russia failed to resolve their differences in Ukraine. The two sides could not agree on a path for Kiev’s military forces or the pullout of Russian troops from Crimea.
The “ukraine news” is an article that discusses the recent talks between Russia and NATO. The talks did not resolve any differences, but they did discuss the situation in Ukraine.
BRUSSELS— After the first joint council meeting between the two countries since 2019, NATO’s leader acknowledged considerable disagreements with Russia persisted, but expressed optimism that Moscow would agree to future discussions.
After talks on Wednesday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg indicated that divisions would be difficult to overcome, citing Russia’s increased pressure on the West to accept its requests for comprehensive security assurances, and the alliance’s reluctance to move.
“A considerable number of disputes on basic topics,” said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko.
Mr. Grushko warned reporters that if the situation develops, it might have “the most unanticipated and devastating ramifications for European security.”
The discussion between a Russian group and officials from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s 30 members happened two days after a failed US-Russia conference in Geneva.
Russia has amassed tens of thousands of soldiers surrounding Ukraine and has said that it wants major changes in European security arrangements made as soon as possible. Moscow is seeking a legal promise from NATO that it would not admit Ukraine or Georgia, two former Soviet countries that Moscow regards to be inside its sphere of influence. Since 2008, NATO has said that Ukraine and Georgia would ultimately join the alliance, but it is not in a haste to provide them with an immediate road to membership.
Russia also wants the alliance to reduce military spending in countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Union or the Warsaw Pact, such as Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.
In Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, a Ukrainian military serviceman is on the battle lines.
Getty Images/Anatolii Stepanov/Agence France-Presse
These requests have been deemed unacceptable by NATO countries. Following the meetings, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman stated such suggestions were “simply nonstarters” and that allies had unified in rejecting them.
Ms. Sherman told reporters following the roughly four-hour meeting, “We will not close the door on NATO’s open-door policy.”
NATO has offered Russia extra meetings to discuss more restricted security measures that the allies think would alleviate its fears. These efforts, according to Mr. Stoltenberg, include methods to improve military exercise transparency, minimize hazardous accidents, lessen space and cyber threats, and address weapons control.
Officials stated the Russian team did not answer favorably or negatively right away, but did say it would take the suggestion back to Moscow.
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NATO partners have urged Russia to get its soldiers out of Ukraine.
Mr. Stoltenberg said, “There is a serious possibility of a new war in Europe.” The Kremlin has said that it is free to deploy its military on its own territory as it sees fit.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration backed a measure on Wednesday that would impose obligatory penalties on Russian politicians, banks, and enterprises if Moscow increases hostilities or invades Ukraine again.
The bill, proposed by Democratic Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, would impose penalties on Russia’s military and political officials, as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin and his close circle. In the case of a Russian invasion, it would sanction an additional $500 million in security aid to Ukraine, and it would encourage the Defense and State Departments to accelerate the shipment of weaponry and military equipment to Ukraine immediately.
It would also impose sanctions on Russian financial messaging service providers, such as SWIFT, the global banking transaction system, as well as prohibit transactions on Russian sovereign debt. It would also instruct the government to reconsider its May decision not to put penalties on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is being constructed to transport Russian natural gas to Germany.
“We’ve made it plain, and we warned the Russians explicitly today, that if Russia invades Ukraine again, there would be tremendous costs and repercussions much above what they incurred in 2014,” Ms. Sherman told reporters in Brussels on Wednesday.
Moscow has long tried to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO and the European Union. Following the overthrow of a pro-Russian president in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin sent soldiers to Crimea in 2014 and used a covert military incursion to capture territories in his neighbor’s east.
NATO members have given Ukraine with military weaponry, equipment, and training, prompting Russia to accuse the alliance of attempting to convert Ukraine into an anti-Russian proxy state.
Mr. Putin was not issuing ultimatums, according to a Kremlin spokesperson, but was concerned about risks to Russia’s security.
After confrontations over cybercrime, ambassador expulsions, and a migration crisis in Belarus, a military buildup near the Ukrainian border is straining relations between Russia and the United States. The Wall Street Journal examines why the rift between Washington and Moscow is widening. Michelle Inez Simon (photo composite/video)
“Any expansion of NATO bothers Russia without a doubt,” spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday. He went on to say that NATO is a “confrontational tool” that poses a danger.
Russia conducted live-fire drills with tanks and soldiers near Ukraine’s borders on Tuesday. They were unrelated to the negotiations, according to Mr. Peskov.
Diplomats worry that if NATO does not accept Russia’s demands, the negotiations would be used as an excuse to launch a new invasion of Ukraine.
“We have nothing to give them,” a European NATO official stated. “The only way to keep the Russians at the table is to keep them there.”
The United States has emphasized unity with its European allies, yet there are differences. Officials from the United States have said that they are willing to discuss reciprocal constraints on the scale and scope of military exercises in Europe with Russia. Diplomats claim that allies were not informed about the US’s thinking on military drills before it was reported in the media. Members of NATO in the east are afraid that President Biden may be inclined to make concessions to Russian President Vladimir Putin, whetting his desire for more.
—This article was co-written by Valentina Ochirova.
Corrections & Amplifications Officials from NATO and Russia met in Brussels. A photo caption in an earlier version of this article incorrectly said they met in Geneva. (Corrected on Jan. 12)
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