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US-Russia stalemate persists over Ukraine
Russia and the US held their first of the three meetings in Geneva with both sides stating their maximalist positions. The Russian interlocutor and Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Rybakov said it was "absolutely mandatory to make sure that Ukraine never, never, ever" became a member of NATO.

New Delhi, January 11

Russia and the US held their first of the three meetings in Geneva with both sides stating their maximalist positions. The Russian interlocutor and Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Rybakov said it was "absolutely mandatory to make sure that Ukraine never, never, ever" became a member of NATO.

No significant reason for optimism: Kremlin

The Kremlin said on Tuesday it saw "no significant reason for optimism" after the highly anticipated Russia-US talks over Ukraine and other security issues. AP

The Russia-US talks are being held in three formats. The first was the Geneva meeting which will be followed by a NATO-Russia Council (NRC) meeting on Wednesday and Russia-OSCE consultations on Thursday.

US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, who is leading the US diplomatic engagement with Russia, arrived in Brussels from Geneva to meet and consult with NATO allies before the NATO-Russia meeting. Rybakov said Russia would decide the next steps only after NRC and OSCE meetings and Ukraine will be is at the top of the agenda.

US State Department said after the first round of meeting between Sherman and Rybakov that the US came up with several ideas of reciprocal actions that both sides can take to improve strategic stability.