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US and Russia meet for security talks over Ukraine tensions

DW, 10 Jan 2022
Top diplomats from the US and Russia began talks on Monday in Geneva. The dialogue is aimed at quelling heightened tensions over Moscow's troop buildup near its border with Ukraine. The US State Department said that the meeting between US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Russian counterpart, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, was underway. Russian representatives are this week also set to meet delegations from NATO and the Organization for Security and Operation in Europe.

The West is concerned that Russia's massing of troops and military hardware near the border with Ukraine could lead to an invasion. Moscow has denied that is the intention. The Kremlin is seeking assurances that NATO will no longer expand eastward and that Ukraine will never be given membership to the military alliance. Washington has made clear that many of those demands are non-starters. US President Joe Biden held two phone calls with Russian President Vladimir Putin in previous weeks. Biden warned his Russian counterpart of serious consequences, should Moscow invade Ukraine again, after annexing the Crimean Peninsula in 2014. A possible response could include further sanctions, canceling the Nord Stream 2 pipeline or even cutting Russia off from the global banking network.

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