With tensions still high over Ukraine, Russia is eager to negotiate security guarantees it proposed to the US on Wednesday.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Thursday that Moscow was ready to dispatch a negotiator to a neutral third country to discuss the proposals with the US “at any moment.”
Assistant Secretary of State Karen Donfried received the Russian proposals on Wednesday in Moscow and said she would bring them back to Washington and discuss them with US allies.
The continued dialogue between the US and Russia was the result of last week’s virtual meeting between President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Peskov said the two leaders could speak again before the new year, although nothing has been confirmed.
Putin wants guarantees that NATO won’t expand further eastward or send missiles and troops into Ukraine. He has also said he wants NATO to rescind a promise it made in 2008 that Kyiv would eventually become a member of the alliance.
Despite all the saber-rattling coming out of Washington, the Biden administration has sent signals it wants to deescalate the situation. Last week, The Associated Press reported that US State Department officials told Ukraine that a NATO membership is unlikely to be approved within the next decade.
The AP report also said the US might pressure Kyiv to give autonomy to separatists in the eastern Donbas region, something Ukraine agreed to in the 2014 Minsk Protocol.