US and Russian negotiators face off in Geneva over Ukraine

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After days of pessimistic statements on both sides, the United States and Russia began tough negotia-tions in Geneva on Monday that Washington hopes can avert the danger of a new Russian invasion of Ukraine without conceding to the Kremlin’s far-reaching security demands.

The talks between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and Deputy U.S. Secretary of State Wendy Sherman began at the U.S. diplomatic mis-sion in Geneva with U.S.-Russia relations at their most tense since the Cold War ended three decades ago.The pair made only brief eye contact when they posed for photographs beforehand.“

The talks promise to be long and substantial,” the Russian diplomatic mission in Geneva tweeted, with a picture of the two lead negotiators standing in front of their national flags.

Sherman said “the U.S. will listen to Russia’s con-cerns and share our own” in an earlier tweet from Geneva, adding that no discussions on European security would be held without the presence of other allies. Discussions will move to meetings in Brus-sels and Vienna later this week.—AN

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