US ready to talk missiles and military exercises in Ukraine with Russia: Official

School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings School closings

A senior United States administration official on Saturday (January 8) said that Washington is ready to discuss the missile systems, military exercises, Ukraine tensions with Russia. The talks that could begin as early as Sunday in Geneva, media reports stated, citing a special telephone briefing for reporters. 

Amid escalating tensions between Russia and the West, US and Russian diplomats are meeting in Switzerland to try to defuse tensions. 

The senior official said that “there are some areas… where we think it might be possible to make progress,” provided any promises are “reciprocal”.

ALSO READ | Ahead of talks on Ukraine, Blinken says NATO prepared to respond to Russian aggression

“Russia has said it feels threatened by the prospect of offensive missile systems being placed in Ukraine… The United States has no intention of doing that. So this is one area where we may be able to reach an understanding if Russia is willing to make a reciprocal commitment,” said the official, who requested anonymity. 

“Russia has also expressed an interest in discussing the future of certain missile systems in Europe, along the lines of the INF Treaty, which receive Russia violated and the previous US administration withdrew from. We are open to discussing this possibility as well,” he added.

The official said that Moscow has also expressed an interest in discussing the future of certain missile systems in Europe, along the lines of the INF Treaty (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty).  He added that the US is “open to discussing this. 

ALSO READ | NATO members express solidarity ahead of Russia talks: ‘We are also consulting with other key partners’

US-Russia talks

According to a State Department spokesperson, US deputy secretary of state Wendy Sherman is to meet Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov for the Sunday evening talks. 

Sherman will be accompanied by Lieutenant General James Mingus, the Joint Staff director of operations, and Ryabkov will attend the talks with Russian deputy defence minister Colonel General Aleksandr Fomin.

(With inputs from agencies)