US open to discussions on limiting military exercises, missiles with Russia

7 months ago 79

The United States is open to discussions with Russia on curtailing possible future deployments of offensive missiles in Ukraine and putting limits on US and NATO military exercises in Eastern Europe as part of strategic talks to begin next week, a senior Biden administration official said.

But, the official said any agreements on either matter would be contingent on Russia removing threats to Ukraine and that no decisions would be made without the consent of Ukraine or NATO.

The official also said there was no chance the US would reduce its military presence or arsenal in Eastern Europe as Russia has demanded.

The US official's comments, made to reporters on condition of anonymity in a White House-organised telephone conference call on Saturday, were the first to suggest a willingness to compromise on issues tangential to Ukraine.

They came as senior US and Russian diplomats prepare to meet in Switzerland on Monday.

Russia has demanded binding promises that NATO will not further expand eastward and that the US will remove troops and weapons from Eastern Europe in exchange for reducing its expanded troop presence on the Ukrainian border and dropping threats to intervene there.

The US and NATO have rejected those demands out of hand, but have signalled a willing to explore compromises on related issues.

We think we can at least explore the possibility of making progress with the Russians, the official said, referring to Monday's Strategic and Security Dialogue between the US and Russia in Geneva.

He added, though, that "there will be no firm commitments made in these talks.

Monday's meeting will be followed by discussions between Russia and NATO members on Wednesday and with a broader European audience on Thursday.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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