On January 9 and 10, two days of talks between Moscow and Washington are scheduled to try to appease the crisis between Russia and Ukraine.
These days, organized in Geneva, Switzerland, will aim to study the requests presented by Russia and find avenues for reflection to move towards a de-escalation on the Russian-Ukrainian border where tensions began at the end of the month. November 2021.
Russia is accused by the West and by Ukraine of preparing a new invasion of Ukrainian territory by regrouping its army on the border. In mid-December, Ukrainian officials estimated the number of Russian soldiers present at 175,000. For its part, Russia accuses Ukraine of endangering the security of its national territory and of wanting to retake Crimea by massing half of its armed force (125,000 men) on the Russian border.
These first two days of discussion will allow Moscow to present once again its security requirements, including the assurance, through “legal guarantees”, that NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) will not expand. in the East by accepting the membership of countries geographically close to Russia, such as Ukraine or Georgia. Memberships which, according to her, could threaten her security.
Russia prepares upstream talks with US and NATO
As the talks approach, calls between the various leaders have multiplied. On Thursday, December 30, the Russian and American presidents once again spoke by videoconference in anticipation of the meeting on January 10. A call which “satisfied” Vladimir Poutine who considers that this preliminary interview was “frank”, “concrete” and “constructive”.
The “will for dialogue” shown by Russia is welcomed by the allies, who however continue to threaten the country with exemplary sanctions in the event of armed aggression by Ukraine. The sanctions mentioned remain for the moment financial and political. London confirmed on December 18 that a military intervention by NATO members remained “highly unlikely”.
As in his first telephone interview with the Russian president, Joe Biden waited a few days before meeting this time with the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky. During this videoconference which took place on Sunday January 2, Joe Biden reaffirmed the American support for “the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine” but also the firm desire to democratically resolve the situation and avoid a strengthening of the situation. the crisis between the two countries.
other scheduled appointments
That same day, Vladimir Putin, for his part, had a telephone meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Once again, the Russian demands were mentioned but also the lines of thought to be followed in order to get out of this crisis as quickly as possible. The Kremlin says the two leaders have “confirmed their intention to strengthen the mutually beneficial partnership between Russia and Turkey.”
The first two days will bring together in Geneva, only the representatives of Russia and the United States before being followed on January 12 by a meeting between Russia and the members of NATO and, on January 13; by a meeting within the framework of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.)
Russia is not, however, the only one to actively prepare the discussions since Ukraine, which will not participate in this first stage, will welcome from January 4 to 6 the head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell on the Eastern Front. , theater of tensions.
However, the absence of Ukraine during these first exchanges does not mean that the country will remain absent from the process for long. Joe Biden having insisted that no agreement on the Ukrainian question would be reached with Russia “without our allies and partners, including Ukraine.”