Correspondent in Moscow
The next day January 10, Russian and American representatives will hold the first meeting in Geneva convened at the request of the Kremlin to negotiate the “security guarantees” that Russia demands as a precondition a de-escalation of tensions on the border with Ukraine. These demands were presented by the Russian authorities on December 17.
“January 10 will be the main day of the Russian-American bilateral consultations,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Riabov informed the TASS agency on Tuesday, who warned that “a single day will not be enough,” more meetings will be needed. .
The warlike tensions and the dialectical confrontation between Russia and the West broke out weeks ago after Moscow decided to concentrate troops near its border with Ukraine in an unequivocal exercise of intimidation so that the Ukrainian authorities would not even think of retaking the rebel territories of Donetsk and Lugansk (Donbass) by force.
All this time, Moscow has been reiterating that it does not intend to attack Ukraine and defending that it has the full right to deploy its Army wherever it pleases within its borders. So, as the Kremlin has been denouncing, the OTAN It responded to Russia’s “aggressiveness” by reinforcing its military apparatus in Poland, the Baltic republics, Bulgaria and Romania, as well as sending ships to the Black Sea.
All these actions of the Atlantic Alliance have been perceived by Russia as “provocations” and have in turn led to an even greater militarization of the Russian border with Ukraine. The situation got to the point that the American president, Joe Biden, held on December 7 a telematic meeting with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to try to calm the spirits and defuse the crisis. According to Washington, Biden warned Putin that he will pay a “high price”, in terms of more sanctions and economic damages, if he attacks Ukraine, while the top Russian leader spoke to him of the need to grant his country a ” security guarantees »that allow progress towards normalization.
These demands were made publicly known by Moscow on the 17th in two separate writings, which caused some surprise in Washington considering that such type of documents, on the eve of a negotiation, it is normal for them to be kept confidential until an agreement is reached.
The main Russian demands
The package of Russian initiatives calls on Washington and Brussels not to admit Ukraine into NATO, whose presence must also be limited to Eastern European countries, and to refrain from deploying. missiles medium-range and nuclear weapons in the Old Continent. Such will be the content of the talks on the 10th in Geneva, although both EE.UU. as NATO have already advanced that some of the Russian proposals with “unaffordable”. These negotiations will be followed by others on January 12 with NATO and on January 13 with the OSCE. On the 21st, during a meeting with the Russian generalate, Putin assured that, if the West does not respond to Russia’s demands, there will be a “military” response.
Riabkov has even equated the current crisis around Ukraine with the so-called Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962, which came close to unleashing a full-scale war between the United States and the Soviet Union. To prevent something like this from happening, the Russian deputy foreign minister urged to start negotiations on “security guarantees” without loss of time. The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei LavrovHe warned that his country will not allow “long” from the allies on the matter or the perpetuation of the talks.