Russia currently has about 100,000 troops on the Ukraine border, according to Ukrainian and Western officials. U.S. intelligence agencies have assessed that the Kremlin has drawn up plans for a military operation involving up to 175,000 troops that could begin in the coming weeks, according to The New York Times.
After eight hours of discussions, the meeting between U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and her Russian counterpart, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, concluded in the Swiss city.
Russia's deputy foreign minister said that the talks with the U.S. were "difficult" and "professional." But he said the U.S. positions came as "no surprise."
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and her Russian counterpart, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov
"Certain threats or warnings were put forward [...] We explained to our colleagues that we have no plans to 'attack' Ukraine," Ryabkov said.
Sherman described the talks as "frank and forthright" — but added that Washington pushed back against Moscow's security proposals. Sherman also said it wasn't clear from Monday's talks whether Moscow would commit to de-escalation.
Sherman added that the U.S. delegation rejected Russia's demands for guarantees from NATO to stop its eastward expansion.
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