As of: 12/28/2021 7:09 am
For weeks the conflict between Russia and Ukraine came to a head – and thus also with the West. But now there are signs of relaxation: According to the White House, talks with the government in Moscow are planned.
According to the White House, representatives of the USA and Russia plan to speak on January 10 about the Ukraine conflict. The National Security Council announced in Washington that it was looking forward to an exchange with Russia as part of the strategic security dialogue. The Russian side should be able to present their concerns, the USA wanted to do the same with a view to the “Russian activities”. Washington left further details on the dialogue open.
Shortly beforehand, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had indicated in an interview with the Kremlin-affiliated news broadcaster Sputnik that security talks with the West could begin soon. “The US is of course our main negotiating partner. And with the United States we will have the most important negotiations, immediately after the end of the New Year holidays.”
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine had previously worsened for weeks. Kiev and Western governments accused Russia of having drawn tens of thousands of soldiers on the border with Ukraine. There were fears that the Russian army might invade the neighboring country. Moscow denied any plans to attack and, in turn, accused Ukraine of provocations.
Looking for a diplomatic solution
Most recently, Russian President Vladimir Putin once again signaled his readiness to resolve the new tensions in the Ukraine conflict through diplomatic channels. On Saturday, the Ministry of Defense in Moscow announced that more than 10,000 soldiers would return to their bases after a maneuver. It remained unclear how many of them had been on the border with Ukraine.
Russia wants to stop NATO’s eastward expansion and prevent Ukraine from joining, which threatens the country. Putin demanded security guarantees for his country from NATO. The western military alliance has so far shown no willingness to accommodate.
First NATO-Russia Council in more than two years?
According to information from Washington, Russia and NATO are now planning a meeting for January 12th. This would mean that the NATO-Russia Council would meet again for the first time in two and a half years. Most recently it was said that Moscow was still considering participation. According to the US government, there will also be a meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) on January 13th.
Washington stressed that talks with Moscow would not be decided over the head of the allies, including Ukraine. “There will be areas where we can make progress and areas where we will disagree,” the communication said.
US President Joe Biden signed an extensive budget bill, including $ 300 million for an initiative to support the Ukrainian armed forces and billions for European defense.
Is something moving? Russia and NATO want to go back to the negotiating table
Helga Schmidt, ARD Brussels, December 28, 2021 6:32 a.m.