One day after the Russian-American summit and the agreement on the return of ambassadors and the launch of a comprehensive dialogue despite the differences, the Kremlin warned against efforts to include Ukraine in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), considering that this constitutes a “red line” for Moscow.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia was concerned about the news about the prospects of Ukraine joining NATO, describing the issue as a red line rejected by Moscow. Read also Biden and Putin summit.. diplomatic statements that hide sharp contentious issues Foreign Policy: Will the Biden-Putin summit result in a deal on Syria? National Interest: What is the real significance of the Biden-Putin summit in Geneva?
Ukraine emerged as one of the main points of contention between the two countries during the summit that brought together Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden in Geneva on Wednesday.
Putin and Biden announced the launch of a comprehensive bilateral dialogue on strategic stability, and the two presidents said in a statement published by the Russian presidency after their meeting in Geneva that they seek, through this dialogue, to lay the foundation for future measures to control armaments and reduce risks, and affirmed their commitment to the principle that there is no winner in a nuclear war and should not Never ignite.
The US president said that his agenda is not against Russia but for the benefit of the American people. For his part, the Russian President described the meeting with Biden as constructive, and confirmed that it was agreed at the summit that the ambassadors return to their permanent places of work in both countries.
In turn, Biden said he told his Russian counterpart that his criticism of the human rights situation in the United States was absurd. He added in a press conference in Geneva after their meeting that he and Putin raised the file of American citizens in Russian prisons.
Following the summit meeting, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell indicated that relations with Russia may deteriorate further due to Moscow’s policies.
Borrell called for developing the capabilities of the European Union to protect its interests from Russia’s attempts to undermine them, as he put it.
In turn, a senior US official said that President Biden had not obtained a commitment from his Russian counterpart to agree to renew the United Nations operation to provide cross-border aid to displaced people inside Syria.
The official added, in a press briefing, that the American side made it clear during the summit held in Geneva that this issue is of great importance to Washington, so that there can be further cooperation on Syria.
The US official described the planned renewal in the Security Council next month as a test of the possibility of cooperation between the United States and Russia.
Washington and other council members are seeking to extend the operation, which UN aid official Mark Lowcock described as a lifeline for about 3 million Syrians in the north of the country.
But Russia doubts the importance of the operation that has been in place since 2014 to transfer aid to Syria through 4 border points, which was reduced last year to a single point across the border with Turkey.
The Geneva summit was held amid circumstances in which the two countries’ relations are going through their worst phases, according to US and Russian officials. The two sides discussed several issues, foremost of which are cyber security, and various security, political and economic files that are in dispute between Moscow and Washington.
At the beginning of the meeting, the Russian president expressed his hope that his summit with the US president would be fruitful, while Biden said that a face-to-face meeting is always the best way.
Al-Jazeera correspondent in Geneva, Zaur Schoge, said that the expanded summit took place in the presence of most members of the Russian and American delegations, and the Syrian and Ukrainian files were discussed.
According to the available information, there are some consensuses between the Russian and American sides regarding easing the diplomatic confrontation, allowing the return of John Sullivan, the American ambassador to Moscow, and Anatoly Antonov, the Russian ambassador to Washington, and to reconsider the two countries’ decision to close a number of diplomatic representations in recent years due to the deterioration of relations. politics between them.
Among the most prominent contentious issues between Russia and America are the armament treaties, the deployment of short and medium-range missiles, the military presence of America and NATO near the border with Russia, Washington’s support for the Russian opposition, in addition to the human rights file inside Russia, Moscow’s support for armed separatists in eastern Ukraine, as well as the Syrian file.