'Progress is Possible': US Has No Plans to Deploy Offensive Missile Systems in Ukraine - Official
17:03 GMT 08.01.2022 (Updated: 13:27 GMT 06.08.2022)
The US and Russia will hold comprehensive talks on security in Europe on 10 January. Moscow will also discuss the topic with NATO on 12 January. The meetings were prompted by tensions around Ukraine as the West expressed concerns that Russia might "invade" it in the near future – an allegation that the Kremlin strongly rejected.
The US is not planning to deploy missiles in Ukraine and, since it is an important security issue for Russia, the two countries can achieve progress in that area, a high-ranking White House official said in a telephone briefing. The official added that such progress is only possible if Moscow makes reciprocal steps.
At the same time, the official commented on earlier media reports that the number of US troops deployed in Europe will also be on the table. According to the White House official, Washington is not planning to negotiate on this matter, as well as on the issue of Ukraine's potential accession to NATO.
The official added that the US is not coming to these talks on 10 January with a sense of optimism, but rather "realism".
Washington to Bring Proposals on Scope of Military Drills to the Table With Russia
The US will be bringing proposals on the deployment of missiles and the scope of military drills in Europe
to the negotiating table with Russia, The Washington Post
has reported, citing several sources.
According to them, this will be done in order to test Moscow's readiness to handle the crisis around Ukraine diplomatically. American negotiators will reportedly be looking at whether Moscow will seriously discuss ways of toning down the tensions, or if Russia will instead be making impossible demands as a delay tactic.
"Our intention is to have an open, sincere and serious dialogue about European security with the Russians at the table. We want to be inclusive. We don't want to go over anybody's head", American Ambassador to the OSCE Michael Carpenter told the newspaper.
The US envoy to the OSCE explained that Washington wants Russia to put all of its security concerns on the table and plans to do the same itself. At the same time, the Pentagon has stated that the White House is currently not planning to scale down its military presence
in Eastern Europe, namely in the Baltics and Poland.
Several anonymous American officials told The Washington Post that the US is currently unsure if Russian President Vladimir Putin is indeed planning an invasion of Ukraine, or if he's plotting a more sophisticated gambit with the final goal of obtaining security concessions from Washington.
The Russian and American delegations will meet in Geneva on 10 January to discuss mutual security concerns. The meeting comes as the US has expressed worries regarding an alleged Russian military buildup on the border with Ukraine. The Kremlin, in turn, expressed a willingness to discuss the threats posed to Russia by the US and NATO.
Moscow rolled out a list of propositions to the US and the bloc, which it sees as a prerequisite for a positive dialogue on European security. The proposals include imposing limits on NATO's eastward expansion, specifically into Ukraine – Russia explained that such a move would place NATO's missiles within minutes of Moscow. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg strongly rejected this proposal, stressing that the alliance will not abandon its basic principle of countries' freedom to join military blocs.