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The tension on the border between Russia and Ukraine has ramped up. Photo: Pixabay.

Ukraine crisis: Was there an agreement at the last meeting?

The diplomatic delegations sent by the governments of Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin met on Friday, Jan. 21 in Geneva with the aim of preventing an armed clash…

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It has been several decades since Europe felt as close to a war as it does right now. The tension between NATO, led by the United States, and Russia, due to the respective positions of their forces and military resources, with the border with Ukraine as the possible theater of war, have led the diplomatic teams of both countries to work overtime to avoid an armed confrontation between the two super powers.

During the meeting on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, in Geneva, the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, and the U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, made efforts to reduce the level of confrontation, agreeing to continue with the path of diplomacy and understanding "the positions of each one," as Blinken pointed out at a press conference.

“I expedited, authorized and fully support the transfers of defensive equipment that the Allies are providing to Ukraine to strengthen its ability to defend itself against irresponsible and unprovoked aggression from Russia,” the Secretary of State declared on his Twitter account several hours after the meeting, showing that the conflict is far from resolved.

During the press conference, Russia pointed out that the agenda they brought with them to the Geneva meeting included a detailed discussion of two draft “fundamental” documents delivered to the Biden administration on Dec. 15: the Treaty between the Russian Federation and USA on security guarantees and the Agreement on Measures to Guarantee the Security of the Russian Federation and the member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO.

Lavrov also told reporters that the United States had agreed to respond in writing to demands delivered by the Kremlin at the meeting, which mainly ask that NATO not allow Ukraine or former Soviet nations to join the organization.

Regarding the current situation in Ukraine, just as the United States points to Russia as the cause of the tension in the region, the government of Vladimir Putin accuses them of wanting to generate a military clash, a suspicion fueled especially by the increase in resources and available forces, as well as in the increasingly threatening disposition of NATO resources very close to its borders. All this is fueled, according to Moscow, by an “anti-Russian media campaign” that the West has been asked to cease in search of a productive and realistic dialogue.

They call for "stop contributing to the militarization of Ukraine by dragging it into NATO and, instead, direct efforts to push Kiev to fulfill the Minsk Agreements and other international commitments."

Read the full statement from the Russian authorities here.

From Ukraine, they await the next written response from Washington, especially after controversy generated this week with the statements of Biden in which he was permissive with a "minor incursion," to which the Ukrainian president, Volodimir Zelenski, replied that there were no minor incursions or small nations.

Likewise, in Kiev they were concerned with the proposal of the French president, Emmanuel Macron, who seeks to negotiate a proposal from the European Union with Russia, since they consider it divisive at a time when they must seek unity.

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