Friday, January 14, 2022
Concern over the invasion of Ukraine
USA: “Are prepared for any eventuality”
Bilateral talks in Geneva aim to defuse the Ukrainian crisis, but Moscow sees the negotiations as a disappointment. The United States is now signaling that it is ready to negotiate again. At the same time, Washington stresses that it is ready for a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
After crisis talks between Russia and Western states, the United States has once again warned Moscow against further escalation of the Ukrainian conflict. US President Joe Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Thursday, referring to the deployment of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine: “Certainly the risk of a military invasion is high.” The secret services have not yet come to the conclusion “that the Russians have finally decided on military action in Ukraine”.
Sullivan again called on Moscow to defuse and reduce the number of troops in the region. The US security adviser said: “We and our allies are prepared for any eventuality.” This applies both to diplomatic negotiations and in the event that Russian President Vladimir Putin seeks military escalation.
“We have made clear to Russia the costs and consequences of further military action or of Ukraine’s destabilization,” he added. Sullivan again threatened Moscow with economic and financial sanctions, export control measures and Ukrainian armament “if the Russian army crosses the Ukrainian border”.
“The discussions were open and direct”
Representatives of the 30 NATO countries and Russia held talks on Wednesday for the first time in two and a half years – on the conflict in Ukraine and the security guarantees that Moscow demands of the transatlantic military alliance. A meeting of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) also took place on Thursday. A high-level meeting of representatives of Russia and the United States was held in Geneva on Monday.
Russia sees its security threatened by NATO and therefore calls for an end to NATO’s expansion towards the East and, in particular, the renunciation of the admission of Ukraine. The United States categorically rejects such a commitment. Western states, on the other hand, are alarmed by the deployment of Russian troops near Ukraine.
Sullivan said, “The conversations were simple and to the point; they were helpful.” The United States would now consult its allies on how to proceed. There is currently no date for further negotiations with Russia. Moscow was disappointed with the negotiations. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Interfax news agency that there are no new talks with the United States at the moment.
In view of the possible stationing of Russian troops in Cuba and Venezuela, Sullivan said: “If Russia moved in this direction, we would act decisively. He gave no details. The Moscow government had not ruled out such a move if talks on binding security guarantees failed. It is not yet clear whether there could be any compromises.