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U.S. says ‘too early to tell’ if Russians serious on security talks

The White House said it is “too early” to know whether Russia is serious about resolving security tensions in and around Ukraine.

US, Russia open high-stakes talks on Ukraine
Russia has put intense pressure on Ukraine since 2014 - Copyright AFP Mohd RASFAN
Russia has put intense pressure on Ukraine since 2014 - Copyright AFP Mohd RASFAN

The White House said Tuesday it is “too early” to know whether Russia is serious about resolving security tensions in and around Ukraine.

After talks with US diplomats in Geneva and with more negotiations to come in Brussels, “it’s too early to tell whether the Russians are serious about the path to diplomacy or not,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.

Psaki said it remained to be seen “if they’re prepared to negotiate seriously –- we are –- or whether they’ll use discussions as a pretext that diplomacy couldn’t possibly work.”

The next round of talks will be between NATO and Russia on Wednesday, with a third session between the OSCE regional security body and Russia planned for Thursday.

Washington and its European allies are pressuring Russia to pull a large force back from the border with Ukraine, while Moscow is pushing the West to agree to a long list of what the Kremlin says are security guarantees.

Psaki reiterated the US rejection of Russia’s demand that Ukraine not be offered NATO membership one day, saying this is “a matter only for Ukraine and the 30 NATO allies, not for other countries to determine.”

“There are a range of discussions that can be part of a diplomatic path but ultimately it’s up to the Russians to determine about whether they’re going to take a serious approach to it or not,” she said.

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With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

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