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US shows willingness to hold talks with Russia on missile systems and military exercises

US shows willingness to hold talks with Russia on missile systems and military exercises

At the upcoming talks in Geneva, the United States is ready to talk with Russia about the two countries’ missile systems and military exercises.

The basics in brief

  • Government officials meet in Geneva on Sunday and Monday.

“There are some areas where we think it might be possible to make progress,” a senior US official said on Saturday (local time). On Sunday and Monday, government officials from the United States and Russia will try to calm tensions between the two countries in Switzerland.

The background to the crisis is the deployment of Russian forces on the border with Ukraine. Washington and Europe accuse Moscow of preparing a new invasion of Ukraine. After two days of bilateral talks, an exchange should take place between Russia and NATO.

“Russia has said it feels threatened by the possibility of offensive missile systems in Ukraine,” the official, who asked not to be named, told reporters on a conference call. The United States has no such intention, so this is “an area where we may be able to reach an agreement if Russia is prepared to make a similar commitment.” At the request of Moscow, it should also concern the future of certain missile systems in Europe.

The government official said Washington is finally ready to discuss the possibility of reciprocal restrictions on the size and scope of military exercises conducted by Russia as well as the United States and NATO. And he warned that “we will only know during these talks whether Russia is ready to negotiate seriously and in good faith.”

There will likely be a ‘first conversation’ on Sunday evening before the ‘main meeting’ takes place on Monday. “We enter these discussions with realism, not optimism.” The official noted that these would be “exploratory talks” that would not yield firm commitments. And he warned of possibly false Russian media reports about possible concessions by the United States in order to destabilize allies.

According to a State Department spokesperson, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman will meet with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov for talks Sunday evening. Accompanying Sherman is Lieutenant General James Mingus, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Ryabkov will take part in talks with Russian Deputy Defense Minister Colonel-General Alexander Fomin.

mku /

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