Diplomatic missions from Russia and the United States started a series of important negotiations in Geneva on Monday, including on the situation in Ukraine.
The delegations are led by US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and her Russian counterpart Sergei Ryabkov.
Ukraine has become a hot topic and the deployment of diplomatic talks at the highest levels. On Monday, NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg will receive Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kuleba in Brussels, and a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council will be held in Brussels on Wednesday.
A day later, consultations are scheduled in Vienna within the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on Russia to de-escalate on Sunday in the run-up to the talks. “It is difficult to make progress in an atmosphere of escalation and with a gun to Ukraine’s head,” Blinken told CNN. “So if we want to make real progress, we need to see de-escalation.”
In the conversation with CNN, Blinken has tempered expectations for those negotiations. “I don’t believe we will see any kind of breakthrough next week,” he said. “We will be able to put things on the table. The Russians will be able to do the same, both directly with us and with NATO and the OSCE.”