Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Russia says talks with US unlikely

Meaningful negotiations with the United States are impossible under the current circumstances, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov has said.

“I don’t think that, in the foreseeable future, the dialogue will return to how it was before its unilateral suspension by the US,” Ryabkov told reporters on the sidelines of an international policy forum in Moscow on Monday.

Ryabkov added that Moscow is still considering whether to respond to an informal request from Washington to restart communication about “strategic stability”. The diplomat stated last month that Russia had received a letter on the matter. If Moscow decides to send a formal reply, “our American colleagues will unlikely find something looking like a concession.”

“Unilateral concessions from our side are out of the question,” Ryabkov stressed, adding, “Right now, it’s not even an issue of concessions or the search for compromises, but whether there is any sense in communications of that sort.”

Russia maintains that it is open to dialogue with the US on nuclear weapons and other issues, but only as equals. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said this month that Washingston should stop “lecturing” Moscow for useful negotiations to happen.

The unprecedented tensions between Russia and the US unfolded after Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine in February 2022.

Washington has since imposed sweeping sanctions on Moscow and provided weapons and other aid to Kiev. President Joe Biden has said that the US would continue backing Ukraine for “as long as it takes”.

Russia insists that the deliveries of Western-made heavy weapons to Kiev makes the US and other NATO countries de facto direct participants in the conflict.

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