The OSCE continues to discuss the situation around Ukraine

A third round of consultations to ease tensions over reports of Russian military reinforcement near Ukraine is scheduled for January 13 in Vienna as part of a meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Moscow and Washington have already highlighted the fundamental difference in their approaches to European security during talks earlier this week in Geneva and Brussels. US Permanent Representative to the OSCE Michael Carpenter believes there will be no breakthrough in Thursday’s talks.

“I don’t think that concrete results will be achieved this week. Our main goal is, in principle, to establish a dialogue. Yes, our positions are polar, but this does not mean that there are no directions on which we could not agree,” Carpenter said. in an interview with the Dozhd TV channel (recognized as a media foreign agent).

Carpenter added that the challenge now is to determine the formats within which dialogue with Russia can be developed over the next few months or a year.

Simultaneously RIA Novosti agency cites the message of the Permanent Mission of Russia to the OSCE that at the event on Thursday it is planned to discuss general themes of European security without raising “acute, current issues.” The diplomatic mission stressed that the current meeting will not be devoted to relations with Russia, since no additional negotiations with the Russian side are planned.

The OSCE meeting – the first this year – is being held with the participation of all 57 member states. On his agenda, in addition to the situation around Ukraine, the report of Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau was announced. He will outline the priorities of his country, which is chairing the OSCE this year.

In international talks with the participation of Russian representatives this week, Russian demands on the US and NATO are being discussed. Moscow insists on legally binding “security guarantees” from the West, including never admitting Ukraine or any former Soviet Union to NATO and withdrawing the Alliance’s military infrastructure and forces from Eastern European countries that joined after 1997.

On Thursday, the Kremlin called the talks between Russia and the United States on security guarantees unsuccessful. But, as noted by the presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov, this is still a certain dialogue.

On Wednesday, the topic of guarantees was discussed in Brussels at the first meeting of the Russia-NATO Council since 2019. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said after these talks that “a serious and direct dialogue” took place, but “significant differences” remain between NATO allies and Russia. Stoltenberg, among other things, reaffirmed NATO’s position that Ukraine has the right to independently decide how to ensure its security, and that Russia does not have a veto over the admission of new members to the North Atlantic Alliance.

Earlier, the United States and other NATO countries, as well as Ukraine, announced the concentration of up to one hundred thousand Russian troops near the Ukrainian borders. Moscow rejects speculation about an impending invasion of Ukrainian territory. On December 9, the head of the Russian General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, announced that Russia was not planning such an operation.

On Wednesday, against the background of negotiations within the framework of the Russia-NATO Council, there were reports of new military movements by Russia. Experts of the Conflict Intelligence Team project have come to the conclusion that over the past week Russia has transferred hundreds of units of military equipment, including Grad and Uragan multiple launch rocket systems, from Siberia and the Far East to the western regions of the country. CIT referred to the analysis of numerous videos posted on social media.

At the same time, on January 11, the press service of the Western Military District of Russia reported that about 3 thousand employees of the Guards Red Banner Combined Arms Army began combat training at training ranges in the Voronezh, Belgorod, Bryansk and Smolensk regions.

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