Russia, NATO Fail to Unravel Differences in Ukraine Talks

Russia, NATO Fail to Unravel Differences in Ukraine Talks

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BRUSSELS—NATO’s chief stated major differences remained with Russia but expressed hope that Moscow would agree to further talks, after the first joint council meeting between the 2 since 2019.

NATO Secretary-Total

Jens Stoltenberg

stated after discussions Wednesday that differences would be hard to bridge, with Russia increasing strain on the West to win its demands for sweeping security ensures, and the alliance largely refusing to run.

Russian Deputy Faraway places Minister Alexander Grushko additionally worthy “a trim series of differences on traditional questions.”

If the concern worsens, Mr. Grushko instructed reporters, it could per chance maybe maybe consequence in “the most unpredictable and critical consequences for European security.”

The meeting between a Russian delegation and representatives of the 30 individuals of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization came two days after a U.S.-Russia meeting in Geneva didn’t reach a leap forward.

Russia has gathered tens of thousands of troops around Ukraine and says it desires sizable adjustments in European security preparations, and fleet. Moscow is annoying that NATO give a binding guarantee that it acquired’t offer membership to Ukraine and Georgia, two extinct Soviet republics that Moscow considers a part of its sphere of have an effect on. NATO has stated—since 2008—that Ukraine and Georgia will by some means change into individuals, but it absolutely is in no plod to supply them an quick route into the alliance.

Russia additionally desires the alliance to cut again its protection power actions in its individuals that historical to be a part of the extinct Soviet Union or the Warsaw Pact, reminiscent of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

An Ukrainian protection power serviceman on the entrance line in Donetsk, jap Ukraine.



Photograph:

anatolii stepanov/Agence France-Presse/Getty Photographs

NATO allies have stated these demands are unacceptable. U.S. Deputy Secretary of Grunt

Wendy Sherman

stated after the talks that such proposals were “simply nonstarters,” and that allies had been united in rejecting them.

“We can not slam the door shut on NATO’s start-door coverage,” Ms. Sherman instructed reporters after the virtually four-hour meeting.

NATO offered Russia further talks to converse about more restricted measures allies hope will ease its security concerns. Mr. Stoltenberg stated those measures integrated ways to salvage bigger the transparency of protection power workout routines, to stop harmful incidents, to lower situation and cyber threats, and to contend with hands adjust.

The Russian delegation didn’t without lengthen answer positively or negatively, but stated it could per chance maybe maybe eradicate the proposal attend to Moscow, officers stated.

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NATO allies called on Russia to withdraw its troops from around Ukraine.

“There is a right possibility for a easy war in Europe,” Mr. Stoltenberg stated. The Kremlin has stated that it is at liberty to deploy its forces because it desires in its be pleased territory.

The Biden administration, in the meantime, threw its crimson meat up Wednesday in the attend of a bill that can maybe maybe impose major sanctions against Russian leaders, banks and companies if Moscow escalates hostilities or further invades Ukraine.

The bill, sponsored by Fresh Jersey Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, would require sanctions on Russia’s protection power and political leaders, individually focusing on Russian President Vladimir Putin besides as his internal circle. It would authorize $500 million more in security support to Ukraine in the match of a Russian invasion, and would query the Defense and Grunt Departments to expedite switch of weapons and army equipment to Ukraine without lengthen.

It additionally would authorize sanctions on providers of monetary messaging products and services in Russia, reminiscent of SWIFT, the global banking transaction machine, and bar transactions on Russian sovereign debt. And it could per chance maybe maybe bid the administration to review its decision in Might maybe additionally not to impose sanctions against the Nord Traipse 2 pipeline constructed to ship Russian pure fuel to Germany.

“We’ve made it determined and we instructed the Russians without lengthen yet again presently that if Russia further invades Ukraine, there will be major expenses and consequences well beyond what they faced in 2014,” Ms. Sherman instructed reporters Wednesday in Brussels.

Moscow has long sought to stop Ukraine from integrating with NATO and the European Union. After avenue protests overthrew a skilled-Russian president in Ukraine, Russian President

Vladimir Putin

despatched troops to eradicate Crimea in 2014 and took adjust of territory in his neighbor’s east with a covert protection power intervention.

NATO allies have offered protection power weapons, equipment and coaching to Ukraine, causing Russia to whinge that the alliance became seeking to disclose the nation into an anti-Russian proxy explain.

A Kremlin spokesman stated before the talks that Mr. Putin wasn’t presenting ultimatums, but became terrified about threats to Russia’s security.

A protection power buildup along the Ukrainian border is further straining ties between Russia and the U.S., after clashes over cybercrime, expulsions of diplomats and a migrant crisis in Belarus. WSJ explains what’s deepening the rift between Washington and Moscow. Photograph Composite/Video: Michelle Inez Simon

“Without doubt, any expansion of NATO concerns Russia,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov instructed reporters Wednesday. “NATO is an instrument of disagreement” that items a threat, he added.

Russia staged live-hearth workout routines Tuesday interesting tanks and troops near Ukraine’s borders. Mr. Peskov stated they weren’t connected to the talks.

Diplomats terror that Russia could maybe maybe exercise the talks’ slowness as a pretext to start out a easy invasion of Ukraine if NATO doesn’t meet its demands.

“We don’t have anything else to supply them,” stated a European diplomat at NATO. “The fully hope is to scheme close the Russians on the desk.”

The U.S. has careworn out unity with its allies in Europe, but there are divisions. U.S. officers have stated they’re ready to order with Russia about reciprocal restrictions on the dimension and scope of protection power workout routines in Europe. Allies weren’t warned about the U.S.’s thinking on limiting protection power workout routines before it looked in the media, diplomats stated. NATO individuals in the east are alive to that President Biden could maybe maybe additionally be keen to supply concessions to Mr. Putin that can maybe maybe whet the Russian president’s plod for food for more.

—Valentina Ochirova contributed to this article.

Corrections & Amplifications

Officers from NATO and Russia met in Brussels. A characterize caption in an earlier model of this article incorrectly stated they met in Geneva. (Corrected on Jan. 12)

Write to James Marson at james.marson@wsj.com and William Mauldin at william.mauldin@wsj.com

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