US suggests ready to limit military exercises and missile deployments in talks with Russia

The United States and its allies are ready to discuss with Russia in talks on Ukraine the possibility of each side restricting military exercises and missile deployments in the region, a senior administration official said on Saturday. American.

With crucial talks set to begin in Geneva on Monday, senior administration official Biden said the United States was unwilling to discuss limits on U.S. troop deployments or the position of U.S. forces in countries. NATO in the region.

President Joe Biden has warned that Russia would face serious economic consequences if Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an invasion of Ukraine. US officials provided more details on Saturday of the severe penalties that could be imposed.

A restriction, described by a source close to the plan, could target critical Russian industrial sectors, including defense and civil aviation, and would invariably hit Russia’s high-tech ambitions, such as artificial intelligence, IT quantum or even consumer electronics.

Fears of invasion

The Geneva talks, which will be followed by other sessions next week in Brussels and Vienna, aim to avert a crisis. Putin has amassed tens of thousands of troops along the border with Ukraine, raising fears of an invasion.

It is still unclear whether the United States and its European allies can move forward in talks with Moscow. Putin wants an end to Eastern expansion and NATO security guarantees, demands that the United States finds unacceptable.

But the senior US official, briefing reporters ahead of the talks, said some areas present opportunities for common ground.

“Any discussion on these overlapping areas where we could progress should be reciprocal,” the official said. “Both sides should make essentially the same commitment.”

Russia says it feels threatened by the prospect of the United States deploying offensive missile systems in Ukraine, even though Biden has assured Putin he has no plans to do so.

“So this is an area where we may be able to come to an agreement if Russia is willing to make a reciprocal commitment,” the official said.

US considers sanctions if Russia invades Ukraine

The United States is also willing to discuss restrictions imposed by both sides on military exercises, the official said.

“We are prepared to explore the possibility of reciprocal restrictions on the size and scope of such exercises, including both strategic bombers close to each other’s territory and ground exercises as well.”

The official said Washington was open to a broader discussion of missile deployment in the region. In 2019, then-US President Donald Trump withdrew from the 1987 US-Russia Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, accused by Moscow of violating the agreement.

A senior official in the Biden administration said the sanctions envisaged in the event of a Russian invasion would not start low and would be stepped up over time.

“Instead, we would take a ‘start high, stay high’ approach in which we – in coordination with our allies and partners – immediately impose severe and crushing costs on the Russian economy, including its financial system and industries. deemed critical for the Kremlin, “the official said.

The United States has discussed with its allies and partners in Europe and Asia a range of trade restrictions under consideration, the source close to the plan said.

No decision has yet been made, but the proposed restrictions could impact U.S. products exported to Russia and some foreign-made products subject to U.S. jurisdiction.

Russia could be added to the most restrictive group of countries for export control purposes, along with Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria. These actions could also restrict the export of products manufactured abroad if they contain more than a specified percentage of US content.

In addition, there are plans to exercise US jurisdiction – through the Foreign Direct Product Rule used for Chinese telecommunications company Huawei – over exports to Russia of all microelectronic products designed with US software or technology. , or produced using American equipment.

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