The Kremlin said Tuesday it has little optimism about a breakthrough on talks with the United States this week about its European security concerns, while Washington said Moscow’s massive troop buildup along the Ukraine border is at the root of current tensions.
After a day of talks with U.S. diplomats Monday in Geneva, Moscow said it would wait for the outcome of more meetings set for Wednesday in Brussels and Thursday in Vienna before deciding whether it’s worth it to continue negotiations with Washington officials.
But in the U.S., Victoria Nuland, undersecretary of state for political affairs, told reporters, “We haven’t seen the slightest hint of de-escalation” on Russia’s part. “It is Russia that created this crisis out of whole cloth” by deploying 100,000 troops just across from Ukraine’s eastern border.
At the Geneva talks, Russia demanded guarantees, rejected by Washington, that the West’s 30-country NATO military alliance halt further eastward expansion toward Russia and curb military deployments in Eastern Europe.