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Russia says NATO talks ‘unsuccessful’ as Poland warns of war

Russia has described its security talks with the United States and NATO this week as “unsuccessful”, saying there is continued disagreement on fundamental issues.

 

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday that the two rounds of discussions so far in Geneva and Brussels had produced some “positive nuances” but that Moscow was looking for concrete results.

The talks, which moved to Vienna on Thursday for a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), are centred on Russia’s security demands from the West and its buildup up troops near Ukraine.

 

The military deployments have spooked Kyiv and its allies, prompted calls for the forces to be pulled back, and led to Western warnings of severe penalties on Russia should it launch an offensive.

Moscow has said it has no plans to invade Ukraine, which is already battling Russia-backed separatists in its east and saw the Crimean Peninsula annexed by Russian forces in 2014.

 

Russian officials have stressed that they can deploy forces on their territory how they choose and blamed NATO for destabilising the region.

 

The Kremlin’s list of security demands from the West includes legally binding promises that NATO will never allow former Soviet republic Ukraine to become a member and that the organisation will pull back troops from former Communist states in central and eastern Europe that joined the alliance after the Cold War.

 

The US describes the requests are “non-starters”, but along with NATO says it is willing to hold talks with Russia on arms control, missile deployments and confidence-building measures.

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