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Russia-NATO Meetings Have ‘No Unifying Positive Agenda,’ Russian Delegate Says

Jan. 12, 2022 (EIRNS)—The meeting of the Russia-NATO Council resulted in no positive agenda, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told reporters after the meeting, according to the report in RT. The U.S.-led NATO military bloc has reverted to the full Cold War strategy of “containment” towards Russia and seeks “full-spectrum dominance,” he said. Expectations for this meeting were very low given the hard line taken by the U.S. in the bilateral meetings earlier between Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov. With the U.S. leading the pack, there were few expectations that the 30 NATO members, some of which are totally obsessed with Russia, like the Baltic states or Poland, would be any less negative.

Sherman was also clear that nothing new had been presented in this larger meeting. From Sherman’s description of the meeting, it seems as if this were simply an attempt to have the Russian side hear the views of all 30 NATO members, all of which were basically singing from the same song sheet as the United States. All 30 laid out the same conditions for Russia, Sherman said. It’s surprising that the Russian delegation remained to hear all of this, which Sherman herself commented on, given the length of the meeting. The bottom line for the U.S. is diametrically opposed to the Russian demands, namely that NATO expansion to the East cease. Sherman made clear that NATO is open to all countries that wanted to join, including Ukraine and Georgia. She also insisted that “The alliance seeks no confrontation and poses no threat to Russia,” despite the fact that NATO has expanded eastward up to Russia’s very borders, with personnel and weapons systems.

The delegates will go back to their leaders to report back on the progress of the discussions, or rather the lack thereof. What will happen then is anybody’s guess. Sherman qualified the meetings as “beginning meetings.” Tomorrow will be the third meeting in this series, with the OSCE in Vienna. Here there might be a greater likelihood of Russia getting a more sympathetic hearing for their concerns than has hitherto been the case. The drawback is that with the parties so clearly divided, there is not a lot of room for the OSCE to mediate the divisions.

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