Julianne Smith, the permanent representative of the United States to NATO, said on January 11 that she does not see great prospects for reaching a compromise with Russia on the issue of expanding the alliance.
“To be honest, I don’t see much room for compromise,” she said on CNN.
Smith noted that there is no talk of changing NATO’s enlargement policy. She added that decisions to expand the alliance will be made by the alliance itself and by specific countries.
“At this stage, all Allies are committed to dialogue with Russia,” Smith said.
On January 10, talks between Russia and NATO on security guarantees were held in Geneva. They lasted approximately 7.5 hours. Discussions were held at the US permanent mission in a format closed to the press.
The next day, the Kremlin said they saw no reason for optimism after the talks. At the same time, the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov noted that the Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Sergei Ryabkov, who represented Moscow at the negotiations, assesses the very fact of the conversation positively.
The talks on security guarantees will be held in three stages: on January 10, a meeting was held in Geneva, on January 12, a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council will take place in Brussels, and the next day, consultations are scheduled at the Vienna platform of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
Ryabkov himself called the negotiations difficult, long and specific. According to him, the sides did not try to avoid sharp corners. The deputy minister also pointed out that Moscow hopes that NATO within the next two days will understand the danger of stalled dialogue on security guarantees.
On December 17, the Russian Foreign Ministry published draft agreements between Russia and the United States and NATO on security guarantees. It follows from the documents that the alliance should refuse to conduct any military activity on the territory of Ukraine and other states of Eastern Europe, Transcaucasia and Central Asia. Also, Russia and NATO commit themselves not to create conditions that could be regarded as a threat by the other side.