The US can negotiate a reduction in exercises, not a reduction in the number of troops in Eastern Europe


President Joe Biden’s administration added that any agreement would be conditional on Moscow ending threats against Ukraine and not taking any decision in this direction without the consent of Ukraine and NATO.

Prior to that statement, NBC News reported that the United States was ready to discuss reducing US and Russian troops in Eastern Europe and limiting military exercises there next week in talks with Russia. The White House and the US State Department denied this information to NBC.

Russia says it feels threatened by the United States deploying offensive missile systems in Ukraine, although Biden has assured Russian President Vladimir Putin that it does not intend to do so, Reuters reported. “So this is one area where we can reach an understanding if Russia is willing to make a reciprocal commitment,” the senior US official said.

The NBC server said that American diplomats are preparing for possible discussions about limiting the scope of military exercises of both great powers in the region and are willing to talk about the numbers of US troops stationed in the Baltics and Poland, which the US government official later refused.

According to the West, Russia is gathering tens of thousands of troops on the border with Ukraine and is apparently preparing to invade the country. In this case, the US threatens Moscow with unprecedented sanctions. However, the Kremlin claims that it is not planning an invasion of Ukraine. The United States will hold several talks with Russia next week and wants to calm the tense situation through diplomacy.

According to unnamed officials, the US is willing to offer some security concessions in the region, but any changes in its military presence in Eastern Europe would have to be offset by Russia’s own corresponding commitments. The withdrawal of Russian troops from eastern Ukraine would not be considered sufficient by the United States.

“It is not true that the administration is working on the possibility of withdrawing US troops from Eastern Europe in preparation for discussions with Russia scheduled for next week,” a spokesman for US diplomacy Ned Price wrote on Twitter. “In fact, we have made it clear to Russia, both privately and publicly, that if they invade Ukraine even more, we will strengthen our NATO partners on its eastern wing, to which we, as their allies, have a sacred commitment,” he added.

“The administration is not considering reducing the number of troops in Europe, as the headline (NBC reports) suggests,” said White House National Security spokeswoman Emily Horne. “The administration does not discuss with Russia the number of troops stationed in the Baltics and Poland. And, contrary to the unnamed figure quoted in the report, the administration does not compile a list of changes in military positions that it wants to discuss in the forthcoming talks,” she added.

US Deputy State Department Wendy Sherman will meet with her counterpart Sergei Ryabkov in Geneva on Monday. The North Atlantic Alliance Council will meet with Russian representatives on Wednesday, and talks under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) are set for Thursday.


Source: EuroZprávy.cz by eurozpravy.cz.

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