(Belga) The United States is ready to discuss with Russia the missile devices and military exercises of the two countries, during discussions which could begin as early as Sunday evening in Geneva, a senior official of the White House said on Saturday.
American and Russian diplomats are meeting in Switzerland to try to defuse tensions around Ukraine, while the United States and the Europeans accuse Moscow of preparing a new invasion of Ukraine. “There are certain areas (…) in which we think it might be possible to make progress”, provided that any promise is “reciprocal”, recalled this source, giving some details during a conference call. “Russia has said it feels threatened by the prospect of positioning offensive missile systems in Ukraine. (…) The United States has no intention of doing this. This is an area where we could find an agreement. if Russia agrees to make a reciprocal commitment, “said the senior official, who requested anonymity. Moscow “has also expressed interest in discussing the future of certain missile systems in Europe, in accordance with the principles of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty” and “we are open to a discussion” on this matter, the official said. senior official. Finally, Washington is ready to discuss “the possibility of reciprocal restrictions on the size and scope” of military exercises conducted by Russia as well as the United States and NATO, the source said. “We will not know until we start these conversations tomorrow evening whether Russia is prepared to discuss seriously and in good faith”, he warned, adding that the Russians and the Americans “would probably have a first conversation on Sunday evening”, before holding their “main meeting Monday” in Switzerland. US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman is due to meet with her Russian counterpart Sergei Riabkov on Sunday evening, according to a State Department spokesperson. (Belga)