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Saturday, February 17, 2024

Talks with US unlikely – Moscow

Russia will not agree to ‘unilateral concessions’, a senior diplomat has said

Meaningful negotiations with the US are impossible under the current circumstances, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Monday.

“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.

Read more: Moscow explains why it calls Kiev government a ‘regime’

Ryabkov added that Moscow is still considering whether to respond to a letter which Washington sent last month informally requesting that the countries restart communication about “strategic stability.” If Moscow decides to send a formal reply, “our American colleagues will be unlikely to find something looking like a concession,” he said.

“Unilateral concessions from our side are out of the question,” Ryabkov stressed. “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 Washington should stop “lecturing” Moscow if it hopes 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.

Read more: Struggle for future of world order ‘intensifying’ – Moscow

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