US and Russian officials have confirmed that security talks between the two nations on Ukraine and other issues will be held on January 10th in Geneva.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said Tuesday that he hopes the security proposals Russia has submitted to the US will be discussed during the talks. Moscow is seeking guarantees that NATO won’t absorb Ukraine or expand further eastward.
Separately, Russia is expected to hold talks with NATO in Brussels on January 12th. After that, the Vienna-based Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe will hold talks on January 13th involving Russia, European nations, the US, and NATO.
Since November, the US has been claiming that Russia is preparing to invade Ukraine. But Moscow denies the accusation, and points to the increase in US and NATO activity as the source of tensions in the region, and hopes to finally deal with the Western military build up in the upcoming negotiations.
Besides the Ukraine and NATO issues, the US and Russia are expected to discuss arms control. Russia is seeking mutual agreements on the deployment of nuclear weapons and other military hardware in Eastern Europe.