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No breakthrough on Ukraine between Russia and US

ukraine

GENEVA: Russia told the United States at tense talks Monday that it had no plans to invade Ukraine, as the two sides agreed to more efforts to keep tensions from turning into a full-blown confrontation.

After more than seven hours of negotiations in Geneva, the Russian and US officials both offered to keep talking, though there was no sign of a major breakthrough.

The high-stakes meeting came amid fears of a Russian invasion of its pro-Western neighbour Ukraine. Moscow has demanded wide-ranging concessions from Washington and its NATO allies, which in turn have threatened severe sanctions for any attack.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said he had assured his US counterpart, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, that the fears were unfounded.

“We explained to our colleagues that we have no plans, no intentions to attack Ukraine,” he told reporters. “There is no reason to fear any escalation in this regard.”

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Ryabkov said the United States “took Russian proposals very seriously” and that Moscow was “for the continuation of dialogue”.

Sherman said Russia offered no proof it would not invade or any explanation for why it has deployed some 100,000 troops towards the Ukrainian border. That assessment was repeated at the Pentagon, where spokesman John Kirby said there had been “no major changes” to Moscow s force posture.

But Sherman also offered reciprocal moves with Russia on de-escalation on missile placements and exercises.

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