WORLD

NATO, Russia In High-Level Talks As Ukraine Tensions Simmer

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, right, welcomes Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko, center, and Russia's Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin prior to the NATO-Russia Council at NATO headquarters, in Brussels, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. Senior NATO and Russian officials are meeting Wednesday to try to bridge seemingly irreconcilable differences over the future of Ukraine, amid deep skepticism that Russian President Vladimir Putin's security proposals for easing tensions are genuine. (Olivier Hoslet, Pool Photo via AP)

(AP) — Top NATO and Russian officials are meeting to try to bridge deep differences over the future of Ukraine amid deep skepticism that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s security proposals for easing tensions are genuine. The meeting comes in a week of high-stakes diplomacy and a U.S.-led effort to prevent preparations for what some fear could be a Russian invasion of Ukraine. Moscow denies that it’s planning any attack but has 100,000 troops on Ukraine’s border. The meeting Wednesday will be the first of the NATO-Russia Council in over two years. Meetings paused when Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014. But the talks already appear destined to fail. Estonia’s defense minister says Putin’s security plan contains “completely unacceptable proposals.”

 

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