EU news: Bloc can only blame itself if it is excluded from Russian-US talks – “I can’t complain! “| World | News

With publicly pessimistic diplomats, the United States and Russia began difficult negotiations in Geneva on Monday, so that Washington hopes it can avert the danger of another Russian invasion of Ukraine without giving in to the country’s far-reaching security demands. Kremlin.

The then French President and German Chancellor failed to convince all EU member states to participate in an EU-Russia summit at an EU Council summit in June 2021.

At the time, Merkel said talks with Russia would be helpful on a number of issues, including telling Russian President Vladimir Putin directly that cyber attacks are not the basis for a productive relationship.

She said: “Here, I think it is better not only to talk among ourselves, but also to confront the Russian president with these things and say ‘on such a basis, fruitful cooperation cannot take place’.”

But EU leaders rejected the Franco-German proposal after Poland and the Baltic states said it would send the wrong message as East-West relations deteriorate.

Ms Merkel added: “Relations between Russia and the European Union are really not good at the moment, but even during the cold war people were talking to each other, so I think silence is not conducive to problem resolution.”

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Beyond EU concerns over Russian influence in Belarus and Ukraine, Merkel cited disarmament and the future of Syria and Libya as issues the bloc could “probe with the Russian president if we can achieve common results “.

Today, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said diplomacy could end after just one meeting, and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken downplayed expectations for the high-stakes talks.

Mr Blinken said: “I don’t think we will see any breakthroughs in the coming week.”

Talks between Ryabkov and US Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman began at the US diplomatic mission in Geneva, with US-Russian relations the most strained since the end of the Cold War three decades ago. The couple only made brief eye contact when they posed for photos beforehand.

Sherman said “the United States will listen to Russia’s concerns and share ours” in a previous Tweet from Geneva, adding that no discussion of European security would take place without the presence of other allies.

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Discussions will move to meetings in Brussels and Vienna later this week.

Nearly 100,000 Russian troops are gathered near the border with Ukraine in preparation for what Washington and Kiev could be another invasion, eight years after Russia took the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine.

Russia denies invasion plans and has said it is reacting to what it calls aggressive behavior on the part of the military alliance of NATO and Ukraine, which has leaned towards the West and aspires to join NATO.

Russia last month made sweeping demands, including a ban on any further NATO expansion and an end to the alliance’s activities in Central and Eastern European countries that joined after 1997.

The United States and NATO say that a large part of the Russian proposals were not accepted.

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