US ready for diplomacy with Russia as soon as early January: Official

Any dialogue must be based on reciprocity, says senior Biden official.

WASHINGTON (AA) – The US is ready to engage in diplomacy as soon as early January through multiple channels, a senior official from President Joe Biden administration said Thursday.

Speaking to reporters via teleconference, the official said the engagement will be bilaterally through the Strategic Stability Dialogue the US has with Russia, and multilaterally, through the NATO-Russia Council and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

“We’ve taken note of the concerns that Russia has raised both privately and in public, and want to reiterate that any dialogue must be based on reciprocity,” said the official.

Earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the US agreed to start talks on security guarantees for Russia early next year in Geneva.

Speaking at an annual news conference in Moscow, Putin said that so far, the US reaction to Russia’s proposal on security guarantees is positive.

“Our American partners say they are ready to start these negotiations at the very beginning of the next year in Geneva,” he said.

The remarks from both sides came amid a feared military escalation near Ukraine over Russian troop buildup. According to reports, Moscow is planning military aggression against Ukraine.

Russia said it does not want any more NATO movement to its east.

The senior US official said Washington’s view is that negotiations should start from the baseline of foundational principles and documents on European security.

“We are continuing to watch closely Russia’s alarming movement of forces and deployments along the border with Ukraine,” the official added.


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