State Department spokesperson reveals details of agenda for first round of Russia-US talks in Geneva
United States Deputy Secretary of State Wendy R. Sherman met on Jan. 9 with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov in Geneva, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of State, Ned Price, said after the officials’ meeting.
According to the spokesperson, the officials discussed the topics both sides would address during an extraordinary meeting of the Strategic Stability Dialogue (SSD), a bilateral arms control working group, on Jan. 10.
During the meeting, Deputy Secretary 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.
“The United States will discuss certain bilateral issues with Russia at the SSD, but will not discuss European security without our European allies and partners,” Price said.
He added the discussion of certain subjects would be reserved for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization-Russia Council meeting in Brussels on Jan. 12 and the OSCE Permanent Council meeting in Vienna on Jan. 13.
On Dec. 17, Russia demanded that NATO and the United States provide it with what it termed “security guarantees”, including a ban on Ukraine joining the alliance.
Talks between the U.S. and Russia have been scheduled to discuss these Russian demands, and are expected to take place through three diplomatic channels: at a bilateral meeting on Jan. 10, at the NATO-Russia Council meeting on Jan. 12, and the OSCE-Russia meeting on Jan. 13.
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