Russia discussions with the U.S. , NATO and OSCE

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US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman met with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov on Monday in the first of three sets of bilateral talks slated for this week. The US and Russia had “useful discussions” on Monday, Sherman said. Russian officials have said during high-level talks in Geneva that they have no intention of invading Ukraine, even if around 100,000 Russian troops have been deployed near the border. The US has said there would be sanctions if Russia will attack. US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman described the talks as “frank and forthright” discussions. The US urged Russia to de-escalate the situation and remove its troops from Ukraine’s border but it received no assurance that would happen. Blinken in December warned that Russia would face “massive consequences” if it renewed aggression against Ukraine.

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On other part, NATO talks with Russia are scheduled on Wednesday in Brussels, followed by talks Thursday in Vienna between Russia and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Russian demands, released publicly a few weeks before the talks, include that NATO not expand further east and pledge to never admit Ukraine as a new member. Russian President Vladimir Putin urged Western nations to make pledges to limit expansion and activities.