US State Department vows to consult Ukraine about any future deal on Ukrainian security
United States Deputy Secretary of State Wendy R. Sherman, who spearheaded the so-called “security guarantee talks” with Russia, in a tweet on Jan. 11 ruled out the prospect of the United States making any decisions about Ukraine behind its back.
“The United States is lashed up at every level with our allies and partners, including Ukraine, and will continue to be in the days and weeks ahead,” Sherman said.
“As we say: Nothing about you without you. We will not make decisions about Ukraine without Ukraine,” the deputy secretary tweeted.
The first round of talks between the United States and Russia, discussing so-called “security guarantees” Moscow has demanded from Washington and its allies, lasted for seven hours and concluded on Jan. 10 in Geneva.
The United States was represented by Sherman, with her opposite number – Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov – arguing the Kremlin’s position.
U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin did not participate, though they had earlier held a phone call in late December.
The United States stated that it is willing to discuss missile weapon systems and the scale of NATO military exercises in Europe, but not the number of troops stationed on the continent, according to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
On Dec. 17, Russia issued demands they called “security guarantees” from the United States and NATO, including that Ukraine be forbidden from ever becoming a member of the alliance; all against the backdrop of a continuous build-up of Russian troops close to the Ukrainian border.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that “any kind of talks with Moscow must be underpinned by the key principles of European security, clearly express our concern with Russia’s behavior, and … be done in concord with our European partners, namely Ukraine.”
White House Spokesperson Jen Psaki said the United States will not make any concessions or even discuss them without their European allies. The Russian Foreign Ministry has expressed similar statements about their unwillingness to compromise on their stated demands.
The next round of talks is expect to occur during a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council on Jan. 12.
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