Russia and the United States have given no sign that they have narrowed their differences over Ukraine and broader European security during the talks in Geneva, as Moscow reiterated demands that Washington says it can not accept.
Russia has massed troops near the Ukrainian border while demanding that the US-led NATO alliance be excluded from admitting the former Soviet state or expanding further into what Moscow sees as its backyard.
“Unfortunately, we have a great disparity in our principled approaches to this matter. The United States and Russia have in some respects opposing views on what needs to be done,” the Russian deputy minister told reporters. of Foreign Affairs Sergei Ryabkov.
US Assistant Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said, “We have been firm …
Washington and Kiev say the 100,000 Russian troops displaced within striking distance could prepare for another invasion, eight years after Russia took the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine.
Russia denies such plans and says it is responding to what it calls aggressive behavior by NATO and Ukraine, which have leaned towards the West and aspire to join the alliance.
Ryabkov reiterated a series of 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.
He said it was absolutely “mandatory” for Russia to ensure that Ukraine never becomes a member of NATO.
Sherman said: “We will not allow anyone to slam NATO’s open door policy, which has always been at the heart of the NATO alliance.
“We will not give up bilateral cooperation with sovereign states that wish to work with the United States, and we will not make decisions about Ukraine without Ukraine, Europe without Europe or NATO without NATO. “