Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - US, NATO discuss position ahead of Russia meeting



US, NATO discuss position ahead of Russia meeting

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg gestures as he talks during a press conference after the extraordinary meeting of NATO foreign ministers on Russia-Ukraine tensions at the NATO headquarters in Brussels last Friday. AFP

US, NATO discuss position ahead of Russia meeting

The US and its European allies coordinated their stance on January 11 ahead of new NATO-Russia talks to defuse the Ukrainian border crisis, as Kyiv demanded an international summit.

Envoys from Washington and Moscow held inconclusive talks on January 10 in Geneva on how to avert confrontation after Moscow deployed forces near Ukraine and demanded wide-ranging security concessions.

On January 12, NATO planned to renew suspended contacts with Moscow at a round of talks scheduled between senior diplomats from Russia and allied member states at their Brussels headquarters.

The US hopes the diplomacy will head off what it sees as Russia’s implied threat to launch a new military incursion into Ukraine – without giving much ground on Russia’s demands.

“It’s too early to tell whether the Russians are serious about the path to diplomacy or not, or if they’re prepared to negotiate seriously – we are,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

US President Joe Biden’s spokeswoman insisted: “NATO’S relationship with Ukraine is a matter only for Ukraine and the 30 NATO allies, not for other countries to determine.”

But Washington’s European allies are keen not to be sidelined, as President Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin seeks to roll back what it sees as the West’s post Cold War encroachment on its turf.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky on January 11 reiterated his demand that France and Germany join a new international summit between Moscow and Kyiv to end the conflict.

The French presidency said the Kremlin had agreed for France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine to hold talks “by the end of January”.

But the Ukrainian president’s spokesman Sergiy Nykyforov also welcomed “the intent and efforts of the United States and Russia, and NATO and Russia to reduce tensions and resolve all mutual issues at the negotiating table.”

“We trust our partners and their statements that no decision on the fate of Ukraine will be taken behind our back,” he said, in a video statement sent to AFP.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said “unity” was key against what he described as “Russian ultimatums”.

US negotiator Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman was at NATO headquarters to brief European allies.

She brought NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg up to date on her Geneva talks with Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, and then met NATO ambassadors.

“The United States is committed to working in lockstep with our allies and partners to urge de-escalation and respond to the security crisis caused by Russia,” she tweeted.

With Stoltenberg, Sherman “affirmed a unified NATO approach toward Russia, balancing deterrence and dialogue”, and stressed “our unwavering support for Ukraine”.

After more than seven hours of negotiations in Geneva on January 10, the Russian and US officials both offered to keep talking, though there was no breakthrough.

At NATO, Russia will be represented by Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko, who described the meeting as “a moment of truth” in Russia-NATO relations.

Moscow’s demands include a concrete guarantee that Ukraine will not be allowed to join NATO.

The allies have long insisted that NATO membership is a matter for sovereign states to decide for themselves and vowed to preserve their open-door policy.

MOST VIEWED

  • All Covid restrictions for inbound travellers lifted

    Cambodia has apparently taken the final step towards full reopening of the country without Covid-19 restrictions by removing all requirements for inbound travellers, who until now had to show health certificates indicating that they have tested Covid-19 negative in the past 72 hours as well as

  • Typhoon Noru brings flash floods – 16 dead

    An official warned that that the 16th typhoon of the season, Noru, had brought heavy rains to areas the Mekong River and flooded thousands of homes in the provinces bordering Thailand. As of September 27, the death toll from the flooding had risen to 16. National Committee

  • Cambodia stands firm on 5PC: No invite for Myanmar to ASEAN Summit this year

    Cambodia has not invited Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, chairman of Myanmar’s ruling State Administration Council (SAC), to the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summit and related meetings scheduled for next month in Phnom Penh. The government will instead invite a non-political representative from Myanmar

  • Mushrooming borey projects and home financing – a cause for concern?

    A spurt in housing developments is typically a sign of a growing economy but underneath all that might lay some anxiety of credit growth as developers offer financing to buyers at higher rates, an activity the central bank identifies as ‘shadow banking’ Earlier this year,

  • Thai Senate delegates in Cambodia to discuss anti-graft co-op

    A delegation from Thailand's Senate was in Phnom Penh on September 28 to meet their Cambodian counterparts to discuss strategies for fighting corruption and enhancing cooperation. The Thai delegates were from its Senate’s Committee on Studying and Inspecting Corruption, Misconduct and Strengthening Good Governance. They

  • Scholarship winner tells secrets to success

    Chhim Chaknineath was awarded the Chevening Scholarship for one year of postgraduate study in the UK for the academic year 2022-2023 along with a group of 10 other outstanding students who applied. She spent more than a year researching and studying – as well as consulting with