Washington denies its intention to reduce its forces in Europe

A senior US State Department official denied on Sunday that the United States plans to discuss reducing its forces in Europe during its talks with Russia, adding that the reports that talked about this are "not true at all."

In a statement received by Jerusalem, a copy of which was received, prior to the start of talks between the United States and Russia on Monday January 10-11 in Geneva on Ukraine, the spokesman stressed that if Russia invaded Ukrainian territory, the United States would “strengthen its forces on the eastern front.”

"We will have the opportunity on Monday to discuss concerns with Russia and understand where we are," he said. Russia is trying to blame others for its aggression, but it is Russia’s own actions and aggression that have brought us to this point.” He explained that what the United States and its allies and partners have committed to is to communicate through multiple parties in an attempt to resolve the crisis, "while Russia is watching the continued military build-up on the Ukrainian border."

"It is not true that the United States plans to withdraw its forces from Eastern Europe," he added.

On Monday, a US State Department spokesman announced the start of talks between the United States and Russia in Geneva to discuss the crisis in Ukraine. Ahead of the talks, the administration of US President Joe Biden solicited advice from hard-line pockets in the US foreign policy establishment "hawks" on dissuading Russian President Vladimir Putin from a possible invasion of Ukraine, while Moscow warned of a "worse security situation" if Washington and NATO did not appear. Interested in examining its demands regarding “security guarantees”.

US experts on Russia urged US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan to send more weapons to the Ukrainians, while speaking with them ahead of diplomatic meetings with Russian officials. The Biden administration is considering "all options" as it considers "how to dissuade Russian President Vladimir Putin from a possible invasion of Ukraine, and punish him if he does."

And launched in Geneva, the expanded US-Russian talks on security guarantees, which are being held behind closed doors in light of increasing tension in US and Western relations with Russia.

On Sunday, the two sides held an introductory meeting, which Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov described as “astonishing, difficult and practical.”

The US delegation was led by First Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, while the Russian delegation was led by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, accompanied by Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin.

The two delegations are scheduled to discuss the issue of security guarantees, as these talks come ahead of the meeting of the Russia-NATO Council in Brussels scheduled for Wednesday, January 12, 2022.

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