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US and Russia to hold talks on January 10, official says

December 28, 2021

Washington and Moscow are set to discuss nuclear arms control and Ukraine, according to a White House official. Talks between NATO and Russia are expected two days later.

Flags of the US and Russia wave on the Mont Blanc bridge, one day prior to the US-Russia summit in Geneva
Image: Peter Klaunzer/KEYSTONE/picture alliance

The United States and Russia are set to hold dialogue on nuclear arms control and tensions over a military build up around Ukraine on January 10, a White House official said on Monday.

"The United States looks forward to engaging with Russia," a spokesman for the National Security Council told the media.

"When we sit down to talk, Russia can put its concerns on the table and we will put our concerns on the table with Russia's activities as well," the spokesperson said.

The Russia Foreign Ministry on Tuesday confirmed the planned talks, the RIA news agency reported. 

The bilateral meeting on January 10 will take place under the Strategic Security Dialogue initiative, which was kick-started by US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at their summit in Geneva in June last year.

Moscow-NATO talks on Ukraine also planned

Russia and NATO are also expected to meet on January 12, while a broader meeting of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is scheduled to be held on January 13, the White House spokesperson said.

Both the NATO-Russia Council meeting and the discussion between Moscow and the OSCE's Permanent Council will focus on Ukraine.

The West has accused Putin of threatening to invade Ukraine.

Russia stationed tens of thousands of new soldiers on its border with Ukraine, triggering fears in Ukraine and among its allies in the West of a wider war — including further seizures of Ukrainian territory.

Putin, however, denies planning to attack its neighbor, saying the troop movements are to defend Russia against an encroaching Western military.

dvv/fb (AFP, Reuters)