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Ryabkov in Geneva: U.S. ‘Signals’ on Dialogue Are Disappointing So Far

Jan. 9, 2022 (EIRNS)—Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, having arrived in Geneva today, gave an interview with TASS.

“Overall, regarding the drafts of the two documents on the table, we will be ready to literally discuss them in detail. Honestly speaking, I really doubt that our American colleagues are ready for such a talk, judging by the signals that we have been hearing in recent days.... But it would be naive to expect progress, given the revised public presentation of the position that we see today, right before the start of contacts.”

What is completely missing from U.S. commentary are Russia’s concerns over “the geopolitical exploration, in fact, of the whole space controlled by this group of states” on our borders. “This is crucial for us, not the aspects the American side is focused on now.”

Reflecting an awareness of the gap between Biden’s assurances to Putin, and the Anglo-American pressures upon any dialogue with Putin, Ryabkov stressed that he hoped to get “a clearer idea of what, so to say, positioning tolerances the colleagues in Washington have.” This was his initial concern, what “we are interested in first of all.” His language regarding previously expressed issues was of interest. Besides the non-expansion of NATO to the east, he cited, second, “the necessity to make sure assault equipment with minimum flight time will not appear at our borders” and, third, for NATO “to return, so to say, to the initial positions of 1997 regarding its training, intelligence activities, the creation of infrastructure and so on.”

Answering a question from RIA Novosti, he said “There is a good chance that ... we will face the U.S. and NATO’s unwillingness to understand what we really need.” The “signals” from Western capitals so far are “disappointing.”

In his interview with TASS he summed up the consequences of failure: “We will be forced to turn to other means of ensuring the necessary balance, of deterring the opponent, if you will, in the event of the lack of required and urgent agreement on legal guarantees.”

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