Blinken dismisses Russia's demands ahead of important talks on Ukraine

The country's secretary said he did not expect any success this week as Biden's management entered into high-level talks


Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday he did not expect any success this week ahead of key talks between the Biden and Russia authorities, deciding to reduce the number of US troops in Eastern Europe and prevent Ukraine from NATO.

Russia has announced security agreements drafted last month demanding that NATO renounce membership of Ukraine and other former Soviet republics, and that it withdraw its military deployments in the region.

"None of this is on the table," Blinken told CNN's "State of the Union" as Biden's top officials prepare for a high-level talks with Russia this week.

He said in a separate ABC interview "This Week": "When it comes to military use and military standards, we are not looking at military standards. Instead.

"If Russia commits renewed violence against Ukraine, I think it is a good hope that NATO will strengthen its position on its eastern side, Russia's neighbors," he said.

U.S. officials told NBC News last week that the US was ready to launch talks on reducing US and Russian military deployments and military exercises in Eastern Europe. Following the publication of the article, White House National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne denied that the US would consider reducing the number of troops stationed in Poland and the Baltic states.

As tens of thousands of Russian troops have gathered at the Ukrainian border, Biden officials threaten unprecedented sanctions and other tough measures if Russia takes military action against Ukraine.

Blinken previews some of what the US plans to bring to the table in talks with Russia this week, including restrictions on the sending of arrows and military exercises. "There are steps to build confidence. There are steps to reduce risk, all of which, if done equally, I think can really reduce tensions and tackle anxiety," he said. "This week."

But he was skeptical of making any success when Russia "had a gun in the head of Ukraine with 100,000 troops near its borders, a chance to double that in a very short time."

"I do not think we will see success next week. We will listen to their grievances, they will listen to our concerns, and we will see if there are any reasons for progress," he said. ABC interview.

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and other U.S. officials will meet with their Russian counterparts on Monday in Geneva, and wide-ranging talks involving NATO and other European governments are scheduled to follow during the week.

CORRECTION (Jan. 9, 2022, 7:45 p.m. ET): An earlier version of this article does not fully address Emily Horne's position. He is a spokesman for the White House National Security Council, not a spokesman for the White House national secretary. The article also misused words quoted by Blinken. He said Russia has 100,000 troops on Ukraine's borders "with the possibility of doubling that in a very short time," and not "the possibility of doubling that by race."