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The US and Russia to hold talks in early January, Putin said

Vladimir Putin said the US and Russia would meet in January in Geneva to discuss disputes over Ukraine, which he said was important to protect Moscow from what it said were NATO threats.

Speaking at his annual press conference in Moscow on Thursday, the Russian president received a “positive” response from the US on the two European security measures launched by Moscow last week, which he said would be discussed at bilateral talks. year.

“Our American friends are telling us that they are ready to start this dialogue,” said Putin. “Representatives on both sides are elected. I hope this is how things will turn out. ”

He added: “The ball is in their yard. They have to tell us something in response. ”

The idea includes a call for Nato to swear an oath of allegiance to any member of the former Soviet Union – particularly Ukraine – and to ban the sending of war. The US has said it is ready to discuss its demands, some of which Nato has previously said are illegal, while seeking ways to prevent Russia from engaging in military action.

Putin’s comments marked the opening of talks earlier, a bit slower since earlier this week, when he threatened to use Russian troops if his security demands were not met. But the Russian leader also made it clear that he sees Ukraine as an existing issue, unresolved since the collapse of the USSR in 1991, noting that some parts of its neighborhood are Moscow’s “historic regions”.

The US has warned European allies that Moscow is mobilizing nearly 100,000 troops near the Ukrainian border with a view to launching an attack, which the Kremlin initially denied.

But on Thursday, Putin refused to block a military solution to Ukraine’s conflict. He also said that Kyiv is planning a coup attempt to recapture the Donbas, an eastern region controlled by Russian-backed separatists, who left in 2014 after Moscow annexed the Crimean island of Ukraine. More than 14,000 people have died in the slow-burning war in the Donbas.

The West is working to “make Russia fall from the inside”, Putin continued, and lays the foundation for the war by providing Ukraine’s weapons and “disrupting public opinion”.

“Our actions do not depend on the outcome of the negotiations but on whether Russia’s security is guaranteed indefinitely, today and in the past,” he said.

He added: “What does not make sense here? Are we putting throws near US borders? No! It’s the US that has brought its arrows to our house, already at the door. Am I asking too much so that we can no longer put up ways to fight near our house? ”

Putin said Nato “deceived” Russia by promising to increase “not one inch to the east” in the 1990s, and was threatening Moscow with plans to send troops and missiles to Ukraine. Russia’s plans to reorganize include Nato banning the deployment of troops to its allies before 1997, when it began to recognize former Communist countries in Eastern Europe.

“We need to understand how our security can be guaranteed,” he said. “As a result, without the comedy business, we just said Nato should not go further east.”

“You need to give us a guarantee – and right away. Now.”

US President Joe Biden hopes to resolve disputes by opening up diplomatic lines with Putin as he prepares a package of sanctions and military assistance to Ukraine which the White House hopes could prevent Russia from engaging in war.

Some EU countries have rejected US stricter sentiments, including restrictions on Russian oil and gas bans and cut off Russian banks through the Swift payment system.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said Wednesday that Nato, of which Italy is a member, had “other needs” and that Europe, which supplies about 40 percent of Russia’s gas, could not leave Russia’s gas.

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