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Ukraine Left Out Of US-Russia Talks, Resorts To Own Diplomatic Channel Amid Border Threats

The negotiations largely involved two draft treaties proposed by Moscow to NATO and the US, and Kyiv was not invited because it is not a member of the alliance

Ukraine

IMAGE: AP


Senior diplomats, and military officers from the US and Russia on Sunday, Jan. 9 held a meeting in Geneva on the Ukraine-Russia tensions, and to formally negotiate Russia’s demands on the two draft treaties set out last month by Kremlin. While the officials gathered to hold high-level critical talks on the Ukrainian issue, Kyiv, itself, was not invited, according to a report carried by New York Times. Ukrainian officials, earlier yesterday, quietly pursued their own negotiating path with Moscow, suspecting that the US-Russia dialogue, that involves NATO, will “yield no outcome.” 

At least two of the three negotiating sessions scheduled for this week did not involve the Ukrainian officials. Ukraine’s limited role in the talks concerning the military and territorial tensions regarding its own land has upset the officials, who have now stirred past the US negotiation role and have resumed the negotiation with Moscow unilaterally. United States officials, whom the NYTimes describes as the mediator trying to tease out possible compromises, abandoned Kyiv as they discussed the 8-year-old war in Ukraine with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

“Talks are intended to forestall,” the paper mentions, adding that Ukraine is now wary of President Joe Biden's statement that the United States will not send troops or involve militarily should Russia launch the offensive on Kyiv, but White House instead is mulling sanctions and trade embargo and hit Russia’s financial system SWIFT. 

Kyiv, not invited, as it is not a member of the alliance: US 

According to the New York Times, the negotiations largely involved the two draft treaties proposed by Moscow to NATO and the US, and Kyiv was not invited because it is not a member of the alliance, and therefore, has no say in the matter. But given that Russia’s powerful leader Putin has threatened to launch an invasion of Ukraine should the talks with the US fail, Ukraine is now increasingly worried and wants to launch a separate dialogue with Moscow to ease down tensions. “Moscow's sidelining of Ukraine and its demand for direct talks with the US and Nato were intentional,” Kostiantyn Yelisieiev, a former Ukrainian ambassador to the European Union told The New York Times, as he also labelled Ukraine "the hostage," of Russia. 

One of the demands of Moscow to defuse military tensions is to exclude any possibility of Ukraine's membership in the alliance but NATO has rejected that clause. Ukraine’s stance on the matter, though, remains unclear. Russia has also asked US-allied NATO forces to leave Eastern Europe and Central Asia, as it called the deployment a threat to its own national security. The talks started with a deadlock as a senior Russian official warned that the United States had a "lack of understanding" of the Kremlin's security demands, and US officials fired back saying that Russia was “not serious” about de-escalating tensions on the frontier with Kyiv. 

Tags: Ukraine, Russia, US
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