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US officials tell Ukraine its NATO membership "unlikely" over ten years to come — AP

Any negotiations to peacefully resolve Europe’s tangled East-West rivalries will present minefields all their own for the U.S. president, the agency notes

MOSCOW, December 9. /TASS/. The US Department of State’s senior officials have reportedly told Ukraine that its NATO membership is "unlikely to be approved in the next decade, according to a person familiar with the private talks who spoke on condition of anonymity," the Associated Press news agency said on Thursday.

The agency provided no quotes, but at the same time remarked that "any negotiations to peacefully resolve Europe’s tangled East-West rivalries will present minefields all their own for the U.S. president."

For one, "Biden will have to finesse Ukraine’s desire to join NATO," which Russia is firmly against. Also, "for Biden, the challenge will be encouraging Kiev to accept some of the facts on the ground in eastern Ukraine," the agency says.

The report reads that Ukraine may be asked "can you make some step forward on these areas," said Steven Pifer, a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. That could include measures such as allowing the Donbass region to control its own health care, police and schools, he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Joe Biden held two hours of talks on a video call on December 7. According to the statements both sides issued later, the situation in Ukraine and NATO’s growing activity near Russia’s borders were in focus. It is expected that Biden will make a telephone call to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky on Thursday to brief him on his video talks with Putin.

The next day after the conversation Biden said that Washington was going to announce by Friday a series of high-level meetings with representatives from the United States’ "four key allies" on NATO-Russia relations to discuss Moscow’s concerns over the alliance’s actions and the possibility of giving it security guarantees.

The status of Donbass was for the first time determined in the 2014 law adopted on the basis of the Minsk agreements. However, this document, which granted the region the freedom to use the Russian language and create its own police, never came into force. Although in December 2019 it pledged to include the provision for a special status of Donbass in the Ukrainian Constitution, Kiev has defaulted on this promise.

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