EXPLAINER: Main issues at Russia-US security talks
MOSCOW (AP) — Officials from Russia, and the United States and its NATO allies, are meeting this week for negotiations on Moscow’s demand for Western security guarantees and the West's concerns about a recent buildup of Russian troops near Ukraine.
Russian and U.S. negotiators have a round of talks scheduled in Geneva on Monday that will be followed by Russia-NATO talks in Brussels and a meeting in Vienna of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe over the course of the week.
Here is a look at the agenda of the security talks and the main issues of contention:
RUSSIAN INVASION FEARS
The amassing of Russian troops and equipment near Ukraine’s border has caused worries in Kyiv and in the West that Moscow could be planning to launch an invasion.
Moscow has denied such an intention and in turn accused Ukrainian authorities of planning an offensive to reclaim control over territories in eastern Ukraine held by Russia-backed separatists — allegations Ukraine has rejected.
U.S. President Joe Biden twice discussed the Russian troop buildup with Russian President Vladimir Putin last month, warning that Moscow would face “severe consequences,” including unprecedented economic and financial sanctions, if it attacked its neighbor.
Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and has backed the separatist rebellion that started the same year in the country’s east, where more than seven years of fighting has killed over 14,000 people. The West has responded with sanctions that have battered the Russian economy but failed to persuade Moscow to change course.
RUSSIA’S SECURITY DEMANDS
Putin has described the possibility of Ukraine joining NATO and the alliance deploying weapons there as a “red line” for Moscow. The Kremlin demanded that Washington and its...