Russia and Western countries held three talks on the Ukraine issue. Judging from the information revealed after the meeting, the crisis has not been eased. Poland’s foreign minister says Europe is at its closest point to war in 30 years.
British media said that Russia said it has not given up diplomacy, but military experts are preparing other options in case tensions in Ukraine cannot be resolved. Russia has refused to change its troop increase near Ukraine, warning of uncertain consequences for Western security if the West fails to meet its demands.
Russia says talks have reached a dead end as they try to persuade the West to block Ukraine’s NATO membership and stop the European Union’s expansion. The U.S. doesn’t think Russia’s demands will work.
“It’s really disappointing at this stage,” said Alexander Lukashevich, Russia’s representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
The White House reportedly said the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine remains high. “The drums of war are loud, and the rhetoric is getting pretty snarky,” Michael Carpenter, the US ambassador to the OSCE, said after talks with Russia in Vienna.
Talks to ease tensions between Russia and Ukraine appear doomed to fail as fears of an escalating crisis mount, Al Jazeera reported on January 13. Russia said talks with the U.S. and NATO were unsuccessful and said the talks remained divided on issues of principle.
Russia has demanded a legally binding commitment from the West that NATO will never allow Ukraine to become a member, and has demanded that the former communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe withdraw from NATO.
At an OSCE meeting on January 13, Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau reportedly warned that Europe was closer to war than at any time in 30 years due to current tensions. “We have been facing the possibility of a military escalation in Eastern Europe for several weeks,” Raou said.
According to the Russian Satellite News Agency on January 13, the Russian Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said that Russia hopes to continue dialogue with the United States. Russia has never lacked the will to talk, but it will not talk for the sake of dialogue and needs concrete results. “Negotiations are about getting specific answers to specific questions raised,” Peskov said.