Tensions had begun to mount after Russia started to amass troops near the Ukraine border and presented a list of demands to NATO.
The tensions reached their peak when Russia threatened “counter” military responses against the west. NATO members also harshly criticized Russia and said that Russia would face “severe consequences” if Russia decided to attack.
However, in a televised interview, Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov stated that negotiations between NATO and Russia would start “at the very beginning of next year,” Lavrov also announced: “The first round will be held in the form of a bilateral contact between our and US negotiators, who have already been named and are acceptable for both sides.”
The White House also indicated a statement from Emily Horne, a spokesperson for the national security council, regarding a call between national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Yuri Ushakov, foreign policy adviser to Putin. Sullivan stated that the US was ready “to engage in diplomacy through multiple channels, including bilateral engagement, the Nato-Russia Council, and the OSCE.”
Emily Horn was quoted stating, “He (Sullivan) made clear that any dialogue must be based on reciprocity and address our concerns about Russia’s actions, and take place in full coordination with our European allies and partners. He also noted that substantive progress can only occur in an environment of de-escalation rather than escalation.”
The White House press secretary was also asked about the call, and she responded by saying, “That is consistent with our ongoing outreach and engagement with the Russians, with the Ukrainians, with the Europeans as well that happened through the course of last week.”
These statements have previously implied that Russia and NATO were ready to start negotiating. However, the confirmation about talks was confirmed on Wednesday by Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov which indicated that both parties were prepared to begin de-escalating after weeks of uncertainty and tension.