Results of the Russian-American negotiations

18.01.2022

The year 2022 has started with a full of events: a diplomatic marathon took place in the framework of Russia-USA and Russia-NATO. Increasingly, there are allegations in Western countries about a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine. In response to this, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov notes: "The number of scenarios of actions developed by the United States in the event of an alleged possible "invasion" of the Russian Federation into Ukraine raises suggestions that the special services, intelligence and the Foreign Ministry of the States have announced a competition for their creation." The Russian side also clearly defines its "red lines", defining issues of "life and death" and allowing the deployment of troops in Cuba. In turn, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg tweeted that "NATO will not agree that the alliance should not have military in countries that have joined since 1997."

Obviously, the results of the negotiations in different capitals are evaluated differently. One thing is clear: if the objective of the negotiations was to form a common understanding of the existing challenges, then the negotiations failed.

  • Within the framework of the "nothing happened, and it's good" approach, the organization of meetings itself already seems to be a success.
  • Moderate optimists expected at least some - though not necessarily principled – solutions and compromises from the meetings in Brussels and Geneva. The negotiations also satisfied this level of expectations.
  • The West is ready to negotiate medium- and shorter-range missiles in Europe and limit the scale of military exercises.
  • The United States and its allies refused to seriously discuss guarantees of non-expansion of NATO – as well as the potential rollback of NATO infrastructure to the borders of 1997.
  • Maintaining the same rhetoric after receiving individual concessions is a clear indication that Russia will not give up on the requirements for guarantees in the near future. The very next day it became known that the Russian side was not planning new rounds of negotiations soon.
  • Europeans are seriously concerned that such important issues of European security were discussed without them. Although Russia is convinced that the European allies of the United States do not have much influence on anything, Washington will have to respond to the appeals and concerns of Europeans in one way or another.

For more details, read the article by Artem Kvartalnov, a PIR Center Junior Research Fellow, "The lack of progress in negotiations will require decisive measures from Russia," published on the Nezavisimaya Gazeta website.

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