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The Biden Administration Plans To Send Written Responses To Russia As Early As Wednesday |Latest Updates

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According to administration officials, the Biden administration plans to send Russia a written response to concerns expressed publicly by Moscow as well as US proposals for a path forward as soon as Wednesday, but the response is unlikely to characterize the likelihood of Ukraine joining NATO in the short term or show any room for negotiation on NATO’s open-door policy, which is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s main grievance.

“I think for a couple of reasons that is not the kind of thing I would expect to see in any written response from the United States,” State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said on Tuesday when asked if the US would include a characterization of the likelihood or not of Ukraine joining NATO, as US President Joe Biden did last week in public remarks.
The proposal will lay out the broad areas in which the US is willing to collaborate with Russia, which has already been identified by US officials: arms control, greater transparency, risk reduction, and missile system placement. According to senior administration officials, the details will go “slightly deeper” than what the US has said publicly.

The Biden Administration Plans To Send Written Responses To Russia As Early As Wednesday |Latest Updates

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier Wednesday that Russian officials will prepare “proposals for the president regarding our next steps” depending on the content of this response, which he said is “expected this week.”
Officials in the United States believe that formalizing their ideas in writing will lead to negotiations with Russia, but that this will only happen if Putin decides to engage. The Biden administration has stated that the response will be shared with Russia this week, as Russia continues to strengthen its military presence along Ukraine’s borders.
According to State Department officials, the purpose of providing the response in written form – a demand Russia has made since submitting written ideas in December – is to fuel the diplomacy that the US hopes will deter a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“When the Russians said you need to put this in writing, our understanding as we thought about it was OK, if this allows the ultimate decision-maker in Russia to look at the ideas and decide whether to move forward, it’s in our interest, our shared interest among the US, its European allies and partners, to proceed and really test if they’re moving forward on the diplomatic track,” a senior State Department official told reporters after Secretary o “We’re taking it one step at a time, but we don’t want to be the ones to rule out a diplomatic solution.”
The US does not intend to make the proposal public, but US officials acknowledge that Russia may publish the full document after receiving it.

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Over the last few weeks, the US has been consulting with allies, including Ukraine, in order to develop their proposal. According to administration officials, this is one of the reasons the US has not provided a written response until now.
“We have been consulting extensively with our allies and partners, and of course, the latter category includes Ukraine,” Price said on Tuesday. “We have not only informed them and provided them with a preview of what will be in this report, but we have also explicitly solicited their feedback and incorporated it into our report. As a result, there will be no surprises. NATO will not be caught off guard. Our European allies will not be surprised. Our Ukrainian partners will not be surprised.”

The Biden Administration Plans To Send Written Responses To Russia As Early As Wednesday |Latest Updates

However, some allies and experts are skeptical of how much weight should be placed on the US response, given that it is not expected to allow for negotiation on Russia’s key demands, and there is concern that Moscow will use the US response as a pretext to declare that diplomacy has failed.
The senior State Department official admitted that such “pessimism may be correct, but it’s whether you see the glass as half full or half empty, and if you think there’s an opportunity to have this end through some sort of diplomatic negotiation, we’re going to try that and see if there’s space for that.”
Blinken stated in Geneva that the US and Russian officials would reconvene after the written proposal was delivered to Russia.

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