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In Geneva, Russia and the United States have a working dinner to kick off discussions on Ukraine.

Top Russian and US officials met for a working dinner in Geneva on Sunday, kicking off a week of discussions in three European cities, with bilateral ties at an all-time low due to Russia’s military buildup near Ukraine.

According to diplomatic sources, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and other Russian officials arrived in the evening for a meeting at the home of the US ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament. The luxurious property has a view of Lake Geneva. Ryabkov was meeting with Wendy Sherman, the US Deputy Secretary of State, and her colleagues.

Russia & United States

According to the Russian news agency Tass, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova indicated on state television earlier on Sunday that a first round of narrow-format security discussions will begin later that day.

The less formal Sunday talks come ahead of a larger discussion between the two diplomats and their teams at the US mission in Geneva beginning Monday, a first step toward rekindling dialogue after ties have started to deteriorate as a result of Russia’s deployment of an estimated 1,00,000 troops along its border with Ukraine. Concerns have grown over a possible Russian military entry into the country.

The government of Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued a list of demands, including assurances that NATO will not seek to expand eastward to former Soviet republics like Ukraine and Georgia.
On Sunday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told ABC’s “This Week” that he didn’t expect any breakthroughs in bilateral talks in Geneva or during discussions in Brussels, at a NATO-Russia Council meeting, or at the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe meeting in Vienna later this week. Russia will face heavy costs if it advances against Ukraine, according to the US and other Western partners.



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