by Steve Holland
WASHINGTON, Jan 8 (Reuters) – The United States and its allies are ready to discuss with Russia in the framework of talks on Ukraine, the possibility of each side restricting military exercises and the deployment of missiles in the region, he said. A high-ranking US government official.
As a series of talks begin Monday in Geneva, the senior official in President Joe Biden’s administration said Washington is unwilling to discuss the deployment of US troops or the status of US forces in the United States. Area.
The Geneva talks, which will be followed by other sessions in Brussels and Vienna, aim to avoid a crisis. Russian President Vladimir Putin has deployed tens of thousands of troops to Ukraine’s border, raising fears of an invasion.
It is unclear whether the United States and its European allies can make progress in talks with Moscow. Putin, seeking to end NATO’s eastward expansion and security guarantees, sees the United States’ demand as unacceptable.
However, the US official, briefing reporters ahead of the talks, said that there are some areas that provide an opportunity to find common ground.
“Any discussion on overlapping areas where we can make progress has to be reciprocal,” the official said. “Both sides have to make essentially the same commitment.”
Russia says it feels threatened by the prospect of the United States deploying offensive missile systems in Ukraine, even though President Joe Biden has assured Putin that he has no intention of doing so.
“So this is an area where we can understand whether Russia is willing to make a reciprocal deal,” the official said.
The official said that the United States is also ready to discuss the banning of military exercises in the region by both sides.
“We are open to exploring the possibility of imposing mutual restrictions on the size and scope of such exercises, including strategic strikes close to each other’s territory and exercises on the ground,” the official said.
The official said Washington is open to a wider discussion on missile deployment in the region since the Donald Trump administration withdrew from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty between the United States and Russia in 2019, citing allegations that Moscow was violating the agreement. (Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing in Spanish by Ricardo Figueroa)
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