Deputy Secretary of State Wendy R. Sherman will travel to Switzerland and Belgium from January 8 to January 13. The trip follows extensive diplomacy with our European Allies and partners in developing a united approach to Russia’s unprovoked military build-up along Ukraine’s borders and our joint efforts to encourage Russia to choose diplomacy and deescalate in the interests of Euro-Atlantic security and stability.
In Geneva on January 10, the Deputy Secretary will lead the U.S. delegation’s participation in an extraordinary session of the U.S.-Russia bilateral Strategic Stability Dialogue (SSD). She will be joined by Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Bonnie Jenkins and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Chris Robinson. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, Eurasia Laura K. Cooper and Lt. Gen. James J. Mingus will represent the Department of Defense. They will be accompanied by an interagency delegation from the State Department, National Security Council, Department of Defense, and Joint Staff. The bilateral Strategic Stability Dialogue previously met for regular plenary sessions in July and September 2021, following President Biden and President Putin’s meeting in June 2021. The NATO-Ukraine Commission will also take place on January 10, and the U.S. will be represented by Ambassador Julie Smith.
The Deputy Secretary will then travel to Brussels January 11 to 12 for consultations with NATO leadership, NATO Allies, and EU officials to continue our close coordination on European security in the context of Russian aggression against Ukraine. On January 11, she will meet with representatives from the EU institutions and jointly prepare with Allies for the NATO-Russia Council meeting. On January 12, Deputy Secretary Sherman will lead the U.S. delegation to the NATO-Russia Council Meeting.
The Deputy Secretary’s participation in the SSD, NATO, and EU consultations are part of the diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the tension caused by Russia’s military build-up and continued aggression against Ukraine. Our diplomatic engagements will continue with the first OSCE Permanent Council meeting of 2022 on January 13, where Ambassador Michael Carpenter will lead U.S. participation. The OSCE is an important venue for multilateral dialogue on European security issues.