In preparation for a meeting of the Strategic Stability Dialogue on security matters, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman met with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov in Geneva on Sunday
The US State Department said Sherman was accompanied by Lt. Gen. James Mingus, Director of Operations, Joint Staff, and Ryabkov by Deputy Minister of Defense Col. Gen. Aleksandr Fomin regarding security between the two nuclear powers.
“The Deputy Secretary and Deputy Foreign Minister discussed the bilateral topics both sides would address during the extraordinary meeting of the Strategic Stability Dialogue (SSD) January 10,” said the US statement.
Sherman stressed the US commitment to diplomacy and “the international principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the freedom of sovereign nations to choose their own alliances.”
“The United States will discuss certain bilateral issues with Russia at the SSD but will not discuss European security without our European Allies and partners,” said the statement
Sherman said some subjects would only arise at the NATO-Russia Council meeting in Brussels on Jan. 12 and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Permanent Council meeting in Vienna the day after.
Russia had said it will seek firm legal guarantees for the non-expansion of NATO to the east and the non-deployment of weapons systems threatening Russia at the country’s borders.
Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin called on NATO to start talks seeking to provide Moscow with reliable, legally binding and long-term security guarantees.
The US also released the transcript of Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s appearance on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” which aired earlier Sunday on ABC TV regarding Russia’s build-up of troops on the Ukrainian border in which America had offered two paths.
“One is through diplomacy and dialogue; the other is through deterrence and massive consequences for Russia if it renews its aggression against Ukraine,” said Blinken.