US Deputy Foreign Minister Wendy Sherman and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Rybkov met in Geneva, Switzerland on Monday to discuss possible solutions in eastern Ukraine, where Russia has been gathering tens of thousands of troops for nearly two months. At the center of the talks, the Ukrainian government did not participate, however, and Ukraine was not alone: that is why meetings in recent days have been closely followed by the international press.
Russia is urging NATO, the US-led military ally, to refrain from joining the Ukraine bloc and expand its influence to the east. Security of Ukraine.
For now, both sides do not seem ready to give up and there is no room for compromise.
– read more: Numerous Russian soldiers on the border with Ukraine
The meeting between Sherman and Riabkov officially began at 9 a.m. Monday, but the two had already begun arguing by meeting for dinner.
Diplomatic relations between Russia and the United States have been going on for weeks anyway: In early December, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met in Stockholm. Without coming to anything. Even so, the topic at the center of the debate was the disputed territory for some time between the pro-Ukrainian government and the pro-Russian government, with about 114,000 soldiers evacuated by the Russian government to the border with eastern Ukraine in late November. Separatist fighters.
The mobilization of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border immediately caused great concern in the Ukrainian government and many Western governments: it was explained that it was aimed at bringing under control only certain areas that would destabilize the current Ukrainian government (increasing hostility). Russia) or to test the strength of Western opposition. Russia, for its part, has always refused to invade Ukraine (reiterated on Monday) and said it had mobilized troops along the border due to Ukraine’s military threat. Ground rockets.
In mid-December, Russia Was made public The persistent demands on Western governments to defuse tensions in progress are mainly linked to their desire to maintain their influence in Ukraine, which in recent years has distanced itself from Russia and further aligned itself with the West. They are considered unacceptable by many Western governments and especially the United States, and are the same demands that focused much of Monday’s meeting between Sherman and Rybkov.
In practice, Russia specifically urges Ukraine never to join NATO, a military alliance formed to oppose the Soviet Union. Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has been well received by its members Many countries It was once part of the Soviet sphere of influence and its expansion to the east has always been a major concern of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
We have been talking about Ukraine’s entry into NATO since 2008 Bucharest deals NATO promised Ukraine one day join the alliance. This has never happened and in all probability it will not happen in the short term: Bucharest’s promise Vague, dangerous and uncomfortable First to the United States. However, there is Ukraine One of the recipients of US military aid in the world And the question of its relations and its proximity to the United States is highly controversial and troubling for Russia, although Ukraine wants to take care not to get too close to the West.
At a meeting in Geneva on Monday, Russia returned to the issue, asking NATO to formally announce its withdrawal from Ukraine, perhaps at the organisation’s next summit in Madrid at the end of June.
For his part, Wendy Sherman, an American ambassador Already managed He said difficult negotiations with former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama during his administration could not find an agreement with these campuses: the United States and the European Union have long feared that giving up land in Ukraine would legalize Russia. To continue his campaign of influence to reach all areas that were once part of the Soviet Union, some of which are now part of the European Union.
Sherman pointed out that the United States is ready to take all time: the key issue at the center of the negotiations – namely the formal abandonment of Ukraine by NATO – and the time to reach an agreement are both remote and irreversible. Rybkov helps to resolve the issue satisfactorily by compromising on both sides. he said I would like to see the results quickly.