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Official Says U.S. Is ‘Open’ to Talks With Russia On Missile Deployments & Military Exercises

Official Says U.S. Is ‘Open’ to Talks With Russia On Missile Deployments & Military Exercises

With crucial talks set to start on Monday in Geneva, the senior Biden administration official said the United States is not willing to discuss limits on U.S. troop deployments or the U.S. force posture in NATO countries in the region. The United States and allies are prepared to discuss with Russia in talks about Ukraine the possibility of each side restricting military exercises and missile deployments in the region, a senior U.S. administration official said on Saturday.

President Joe Biden has warned Russia will face severe economic consequences if Russian President Vladimir Putin were to launch an invasion of Ukraine. U.S. officials on Saturday provided more details on tough sanctions that could be imposed. Russia says it feels threatened by the prospect of the United States deploying offensive missile systems in Ukraine, even though President Biden has assured Putin he has no intention of doing so.

The Geneva talks, to be followed by other sessions next week in Brussels and Vienna, are aimed at averting a crisis. Putin has massed tens of thousands of troops along the border with Ukraine, generating fears of an invasion.

In 2019, Donald Trump withdrew from the 1987 U.S.-Russia Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, on accusations Moscow was violating the accord. The Biden administration is open to a broader discussion on missile deployment in the region and is also willing to discuss restrictions by both sides on military exercises. One restriction, as described by a source familiar with the plan, could target critical Russian industrial sectors, including defense and civil aviation, and would invariably hit Russia’s high-tech ambitions, such as in artificial intelligence or quantum computing, or even consumer electronics.

No decisions have yet been taken, but restrictions under consideration could impact U.S. products exported to Russia and certain foreign-made products subject to U.S. jurisdiction, which would add Russia to the list of the most restrictive group of countries for export control purposes, together with Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria. These actions could also restrict the export of products made abroad if they contain more than a specified percentage of U.S. content.

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