Biden Team Cannot Tame Russia

Published by the European Commission at under Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed), CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Will this lead to chaos.

In an attempt to resolve differences “peacefully,” top U.S. diplomats met with Russian diplomats in Geneva on Friday (January 21) to resolve the Russia-Ukraine crisis but walked away with very little progress.

Antony Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State, and Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Minister, spoke about Ukraine for about 90 minutes. The discussion ended with Blinken referring to the meeting as “frank and substantive” and Lavrov calling it “a useful, honest conversation.”

However, the diplomatic talks did not lead to any immediate action as both sides agreed to resume conversations once the U.S. submitted a formal response to Russia’s demands.

Raising doubt on the fruitfulness of the meeting, Lavrov said he couldn’t “say whether or not we are on the right path,” adding that Russian diplomats would only understand the U.S.’s stance “when we get the American response on paper to all the points in our proposals.”

Both sides also remained open to further discussions taking place between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, as officials had revealed skepticism of any substantive progress from Friday’s meeting.

Speaking on the matter, Blinken said, “If we conclude and the Russians conclude that the best way to resolve things is through a further conversation between them, we’re certainly prepared to do that.”

The talks follow Russia issuing a list of demands last month. The list contained requirements that Ukraine not be admitted as a member of NATO and that the U.S. withdraw troops from the region, despite Russia continuing to increase the number of troops near the border with Ukraine, stoking fears Russia would be advancing on Ukraine.

In the face of the imminent threat on Ukraine, the Biden administration continued to issue warnings that included threats of sanctions and “severe” consequences if Russia invaded. The administration has also chosen to resolve the matter diplomatically through dialogue, with Blinken saying the U.S. was “committed to walking that path, to resolving our differences peacefully, and I hope to test that proposition today.”