No progress was made during a meeting between NATO and Russia in Brussels on Wednesday as the US and NATO are rejecting a key Russian demand to halt the military alliance’s eastward expansion. But according to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, both sides are open to further talks.
Stoltenberg said during the meeting, NATO members and Russia “expressed the need to resume dialogue and to explore a schedule of future meetings.”
The NATO chief said there are “significant differences” between the military alliance concerning Ukraine. “Our differences will not be easy to bridge, but it is a positive sign that all NATO allies and Russia sat down around the same table and engaged on substantive topics,” he said.
Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman represented the US at the meeting and echoed Stoltenberg’s comments. She said some of Russia’s security proposals were “non-starters” but maintained that there are still issues the two sides can negotiate on, including arms control.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko, who led the Russian delegation in Brussels, had some positive things to say about the talks despite the US and NATO’s stance.
“I think that [this meeting] was absolutely essential. Firstly, it was some sort of a shake-up. If the meeting had not taken place, it would have been impossible to bring up these issues in full action,” Grushko said, according to Russia’s Tass news agency.
Russia wants the US and NATO to rescind a promise that was first made in 2008 that Ukraine would eventually become a member of NATO. When Viktor Yanukovych was president of Ukraine from 2010 to 2014, Kyiv joining NATO was not a concern. But Yanukovych was ousted in a US-backed coup in 2014, and ever since, NATO has significantly increased its cooperation with Ukraine.
On Thursday, the diplomacy between Russia and the West will continue at a meeting of the Vienna-based Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. While no breakthroughs have been made, the flurry of diplomacy and willingness to continue dialogue is a sign that the tensions around Ukraine and elsewhere in the region likely won’t lead to further conflict.
10 thoughts on “No Progress Made in Russia-NATO Meeting, But More Talks Possible”
We all know where this hall lead: More NATO soldiers will be sent to the Baltic States, the US of A will supply even more weapons to the Kiev regime to stoke up the fire, and Russia will of course be blamed for all of this!
I don’t think we know where this will lead at all.
Uncharted territory. Russia has stated many times if NATO does not move their hardware from Russia’s borders, the Russian military will move it for them.
Putin is not bluffing.
The talks are effectively over and I predict there will be no more talks. Tomorrow’s talks with the OSCE nations – including Ukraine – are irrelevant. The points brought by Sherman are not interesting to Russia, and the US has already directly rejected stopping NATO expansion or not putting Ukraine into NATO.
Lavrov’s press conference supposedly scheduled for tomorrow will probably involve him declaring the talks a failure and that Russia will now move on to take action to insure Russia’s security.
A window of time in which we can talk is not the same thing as fending off trouble by talking forever without meaning to agree to anything.
Russia might talk, like Japan talked right up to Dec 6, 1941. But the carriers were at sea, on their way to Pearl Harbor. Failure to say anything important meant they struck instead of turning around.
US calls the shots for NATO. therefore NATO insists that Russia must first abandon all of her demands. In return, US/NATO will engage in meaningless gestures.
Yeah, I chuckle when they imply NATO is independent.
A cut-and-paste from something I wrote elsewhere:
“Professor Adam Tooze is known as an informed dispassionate and even-handed economist. Read his Substack below, for there is not a dull word in it.
Note that the West doesn’t have any really good options here. Sanctions are likely to be ineffective, both because the West needs Russian petroleum and because Russia has largely de-dollarized and sits on massive and growing cash and gold reserves. At the same time, Ukraine is a kakistocracy by any reasonable definition, and without constant infusions to the tune of billions of dollars both from the IMF and from gas transit revenues from Russia, it would be in more pathetic shape than it already is. (And no, don’t blame the war. Ukraine was a kleptocracy long before 2014, although the leadership since that time has been more corrupt and thievish than even Ukraine pre-2014 was used to.)
Even if a NATO military action could be won on behalf of the Ukrainian nationalists (and every wargame suggests that it can’t), there is no such scenario that doesn’t end in WWIII. So who here is ready to take a nuke on behalf the Nazis of Lvov?
At the same time, even though he has no good cards to play, Biden cannot be seen to climb down. In part this is because America is a declining power and therefore it cannot let its vassals start to get ideas. But the real problem is the fundamentally Third World nature of contemporary USA-ian politics.
If you have ever spent more than a few hours living in a Third World country and you were sort of paying attention during this time, you will note that politics in such a country is a zero-sum game. Anything that helps your opponents hurts you, and anything that helps you hurts your opponents. So even a policy that benefits the country as a whole must be bitterly be opposed, if your opponents are for it or it also benefits them. (War and the military seem to be the exception in the United States. Wars that in no way benefit the country enjoy unswerving bipartisan support, rising even to the status of sacred cows that must never be questioned. This is also a common feature of third world countries, which is why military coups are often initially welcomed.)
This means that if Biden calls for anything less than Total Victory, his opponents on Team R will pounce, calling for the fainting couch and rending their garments most piteously while wailing something about “appeasement”, and insisting that Trump is the reincarnation of Winston Churchill who would have pushed The Button sooner and better. It doesn’t help that Team D was doing the same thing to Trump a year or so ago, pushing wackadoodle conspiracy theories that were contradicted by all available facts and just about everything that the Trump maladministration did. So for Team R, the opportunity to call the other guy an appeaser and weakling acting on behalf of foreign powers is especially sweet. “
Nice! Just read this article this morning.
Well, needless to say, the Russians are very disappointed at the outcome.
Russia ratchets up pressure on Europe, says ‘no grounds’ for further talks on security amid heightened tensions
As we feared.
Putin and Lavrov have given up on diplomacy.
Very, very frightening.
Putin has made it crystal clear for years, that he would do everything possible to convince NATO to withdraw. But if diplomacy fails, there WILL be some sort of military confrontation.
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