On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said security talks between Washington and Moscow will begin immediately after Russia’s new year holiday season, which lasts through January 9th.
“It is with the US that we will carry out the main work of negotiations, which will take place immediately after the new year holidays end,” Lavrov said.
Russia has submitted a list of security proposals to the US amid simmering tensions surrounding Ukraine. Chief among Russia’s concerns are over NATO expansion, and Moscow wants guarantees that Ukraine won’t join the Western military alliance. US officials have agreed to start talks on the Russian proposals in January.
Separately, NATO is expected to convene a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council to hold talks with Moscow. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is looking to hold the meeting on January 12th.
Over the weekend, Russian media reported that over 10,000 Russian troops are returning to their permanent bases after holding drills in areas near Ukraine. The move could be meant to reduce tensions ahead of the security talks.
Since November, the US has been claiming Russia is preparing to invade Ukraine, an accusation Moscow denies. For their part, Russia says the increase in US and NATO activity in the region is the source of tensions and is hoping to finally deal with the issue in the upcoming negotiations.