Moscow's demands for non-expansion of NATO are unacceptable to the United States. This was stated by U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman during a telephone briefing for journalists after talks in Geneva with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on strategic stability on January 10, - Voice of America reports.
"We will be firm and will continue to reject those approaches to security issues that are undiscussable for the USA. We will not allow anyone to shut down NATO's open door policy, which has always been central to the building of the Alliance. We will not give up bilateral cooperation with sovereign states that want to work with the United States, and we will not make decisions about either Ukraine without Ukraine, Europe without Europe, or NATO without NATO", - Sherman emphasized.
At the same time, she assured: "The United States is committed to a constructive and reciprocal dialogue with Russia".
According to Sherman, the discussion of positions with Moscow should take place precisely on the basis of reciprocity, when both sides listen to each other's concerns.
Speaking about the sanctions that will be imposed by the USA if Russia continues its aggression against Ukraine, Wendy Sherman stated: "If Russia invades Ukraine even further, the cost and consequences of these actions will go far beyond what it was in 2014… They will include financial sanctions that will affect, as it was announced, key financial institutions, export control, key industries, an increase in the military presence of NATO forces on the territory of its members and an increase in security assistance to Ukraine".
The Deputy Secretary of State stressed that all these steps were coordinated with the U.S. allies within NATO and the European Union.
"It is worth repeating that it was Russia that invaded Ukraine in 2014. It is Russia that continues to foment the war in eastern Ukraine, which has claimed nearly 14 000 Ukrainian lives. And now it is Russia's actions that are causing a new crisis not only for Ukraine, but for the whole Europe. One country cannot change the borders of another by force, dictate the conditions of foreign policy of another country, or prohibit another country from choosing its allies", - Sherman recalled.
The U.S. Undersecretary of State reported that she spent about 8 hours in negotiations with Russian representatives, having called them "emergency". According to her, the USA is ready for a mutual discussion with Russia of the scale of military exercises, as well as for a dialogue on those restrictions on missiles in Europe that were introduced by the now defunct Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty).
Wendy Sherman also reported that in the near future, she would inform the leadership of the European Union and NATO allies about the content of the talks with Russian representatives that took place on January 10.