Russia “Open to Talks” — NATO Responds with Threat of “Nuclear Exercise”

October 12th, 2022 - by Dave DeCamp /

Lavrov: Putin may discuss talks in a meeting with Turkey’s Erdogan.

Lavrov Says Russia Open to Talks:
US Dismisses His Comments

Dave DeCamp /

(October 11, 2022) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday said that Moscow was open to talks with Western powers as Turkey is looking to broker negotiations.

Lavrov also said that Russia would consider a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Biden if one was proposed. “We have repeatedly said that we never refuse meetings. If there is a proposal, then we will consider it,” he said.

A potential venue for talks between Biden and Putin could be the sidelines of the upcoming summit of G20 leaders that will be held in mid-November in Indonesia. But according to Lavrov, Russia has not received any serious proposals from the US to negotiate.

The US was quick to dismiss Lavrov’s comments, accusing him of “posturing” and calling for Russia to stop launching strikes across Ukraine. “We see this as posturing. We do not see this as a constructive, legitimate offer to engage in the dialogue and diplomacy that is absolutely necessary to see an end to this brutal war of aggression,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

Despite the US dismissal of potential talks, Turkey appears eager to broker negotiations between the two sides. The Kremlin said that Putin will meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday, and it’s “possible” that the two leaders will discuss a Turkish proposal to host talks between the West and Russia.

Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar spoke with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Shoigu, on Tuesday and noted a “common understanding” when it came to the need to reach a ceasefire, the Turkish Defense Ministry said.

“The importance of declaring a ceasefire urgently in order to prevent further loss of lives and to re-establish peace and stability in the region was emphasized, and it was gladly observed that there was a common understanding regarding the ceasefire,” the Turkish Defense Ministry said in a readout of the call.

While there are growing calls for peace talks, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reiterated his position that he won’t hold talks with Russia as long as Putin is president during a virtual meeting with the G7. Zelensky recently signed a decree ruling out any dialogue with Putin’s government.

Mullen Says US Should Push for
Negotiations to End the War in Ukraine

Former joint chiefs chair says Blinken should work to bring Putin and Zelensky to the table

Dave DeCamp /

(October 10, 2022) — Retired Adm. Mike Mullen said Sunday that the US should work quickly to bring Ukraine and Russia to the negotiating table to help bring an end to the war in Ukraine.

Mullen, who served as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff for George W. Bush and Barack Obama, told ABC that President Biden should “back off” his talk of nuclear armageddon and work to end the war.

“President Biden’s language — we’re about at the top of the language scale, if you will. And I think we need to back off that a little bit and do everything we possibly can to try to get to the table to resolve this thing,” Mullen said.

He said that it was up to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other diplomats to figure out how to bring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin to the table for negotiations.

“As is typical in any war, it’s gotta end and usually there are negotiations associated with that. The sooner the better, as far as I’m concerned,” Mullen added.

When discussing the risk of nuclear war, Mullen said that he has to take Putin seriously since he could use lower-yield tactical nuclear weapons and described the Russian president as a “cornered animal.”

Despite the risks, the Biden administration has not shown interest in pursuing diplomacy with Russia. Blinken has only had one known conversation with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, since Russia invaded on February 24, and the call was focused on a potential prisoner swap, not the war.

NATO to Hold Nuclear Exercise
Despite Tensions With Russia

NATO says the main part of the exercise will be held within striking distance from Russia

Dave DeCamp /

(October 11, 2022) — NATO plans to hold nuclear exercises next week despite the soaring tensions with Russia that have led to President Biden warning of the risk of nuclear “armageddon.”

The exact location of the exercises, known as Steadfast Noon, is not clear, but a NATO official told The Associated Press that the main part of the drills will be held more than 625 miles (1,000 kilometers) from Russia.

The exercises are held annually and typically involve nuclear-capable warplanes but do not include live-fire exercises. Fourteen out of 30 NATO members are expected to take part in this year’s iteration of Steadfast Noon.

“It would send a very wrong signal if we suddenly now canceled a routine, long-time planned exercise because of the war in Ukraine. That would be absolutely the wrong signal to send,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday.

Stoltenberg claimed that the best way to avoid escalation with Russia is to continue its “firm” and “predictable” behavior so as not to send the wrong signal. “If we now created the grounds for any misunderstandings, miscalculations in Moscow about our willingness to protect and defend all allies, we would increase the risk of escalation,” he said.

While only three NATO members have their own nuclear arsenals — the US, Britain, and France — other countries store US warheads under NATO’s nuclear sharing program. Under this arrangement, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey host US nuclear weapons.

Poland wants to host nuclear weapons and said last week that it raised the idea with Washington. The US and NATO have previously said they wouldn’t put nuclear weapons in countries east of Germany that joined the alliance after the Cold War, but Polish President Andrzej Duda said the issue is being discussed with the US.

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