No concessions, no breakthroughs: Russia, US cast pall on Ukraine talks

(VOVWORLD) - Russia said on Sunday it would not make concessions under USpressure and warned that this week's talks on the Ukraine crisis might end early, while Washington said no breakthroughs were expected and progress depended on de-escalation from Moscow.

The hard line from Moscow underscored the fragile prospects for negotiations that Washington hopes will avert the danger of the Ukraine crisis.

Talks begin on Monday in Geneva before moving to Brussels and Vienna, but the state-owned RIA news agency quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying it was entirely possible the diplomacy could end after a single meeting. Moscow was not optimistic going into the talks, Interfax news agency quoted Ryabkov as saying.

The US prognosis was similarly gloomy as Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a CNN interview that he doesn’t expect any breakthroughs in the coming week.

In response to Russian demands for Western security guarantees, the United States and allies have said they are prepared to discuss the possibility of each side restricting military exercises and missile deployments in the region. 

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