GENEVA — Russian and American officers met for a preliminary dinner on Sunday night time to start a high-stakes negotiation over threats to Ukraine and a widening gulf between Moscow and the West, however there was deep pessimism on each side {that a} diplomatic answer was inside attain.

Even earlier than they sat down, the senior Russian official dispatched to the talks warned that the USA had a “lack of know-how” of the Kremlin’s safety calls for, and the USA voiced doubts over whether or not Russia was “severe” about de-escalating the Ukraine disaster.

The feedback by Deputy International Minister Sergei A. Ryabkov maintained the hard-line rhetoric that some analysts and Western officers see as a attainable prelude to new Russian navy motion in opposition to Ukraine. He gave the impression to be making an attempt to decrease expectations for a pathway to an settlement simply hours earlier than he opened the session with a non-public dinner in a residential constructing on the Geneva lakefront with Wendy Sherman, the deputy secretary of state. The 2 will meet once more in Geneva on Monday, main Russian and American delegations in additional formal negotiations.

In remarks reported by Russian information companies, Mr. Ryabkov mentioned he was intent on negotiating “dynamically, with out pauses,” to forestall the West from “placing the brakes on all this and burying it in infinite discussions.”

Mr. Ryabkov’s feedback got here a number of hours earlier than Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, showing on a number of Sunday morning tv applications, mentioned he thought there was room for negotiation within the talks happening within the coming days in Geneva and two different European cities.

Whereas he dominated out encroachments on Ukraine’s territorial integrity and reductions in American troop ranges, he opened the door to a attainable revival of a treaty deserted by the Trump administration and to mutual limits on the place troops could possibly be deployed and workout routines carried out.

The negotiations, Mr. Blinken insisted, are “not about making concessions” underneath the specter of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, eight years after it annexed Crimea.

“It’s about seeing whether or not, within the context of dialogue and diplomacy, there are issues that each side, all sides can do to cut back tensions,” he mentioned on CNN. “We’ve accomplished that previously.”

A number of occasions on Sunday, Mr. Blinken raised the potential for reviving the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty, which banned the deployment, in Europe or in Russia, of medium-range nuclear missiles. Each the Obama and Trump administrations accused Moscow of violating the accord, and the United States left the treaty in 2019.

“There could also be floor for renewing that,’’ he mentioned on ABC’s “This Week.”

And Mr. Blinken raised the concept of revising an settlement on the deployment of typical forces in Europe that might hold navy workout routines removed from borders — and thus scale back the worry that an train might turn out to be the leaping-off level for an invasion. “These are actually issues that may be revisited if — if Russia is severe about doing it,” he mentioned.

The Russians were incensed this fall when the USA and allied NATO forces carried out workout routines within the Black Sea, close to the Ukrainian and Russian coasts.

Privately, American officers have little hope that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia could be happy with agreements that restore the established order of some years in the past. And their concern is that the Russians will emerge from the Geneva talks, and others this week in Brussels and Vienna, declaring that diplomacy has failed — and that Mr. Putin will try to seize extra of Jap Ukraine, or perform cyber or different assaults to cripple the federal government in Kyiv.

Mr. Blinken’s appeared intent on displaying an openness to a spread of diplomatic options whereas stressing that if Russia rejects that path, “large penalties” would observe. They’d go far past the penalties the USA and its allies imposed after the 2014 annexation of Crimea, and the following American sanctions for Russian election interference in 2016 and the Photo voltaic Winds cyberattacks on American firms and the federal authorities in 2020.

American officers have detailed these penalties in current days, describing the sort of financial, technology and military sanctions that would go into effect if Russia begins an invasion of components or the entire nation.

The State Division mentioned that on Monday it might take up “sure bilateral points” with Russia, “however is not going to talk about European safety with out our European companions and allies.”

Russia is looking for what it calls “safety ensures” from the USA and the NATO alliance that may basically grant the nation the sort of sphere of affect it has not loved for greater than 30 years, together with Ukraine and different post-Soviet nations in Jap Europe. The Kremlin has been backing up these calls for by massing tens of thousands of troops and gear close to its border with Ukraine, signaling that it’s ready to make use of pressure if diplomacy fails.

Whereas Mr. Blinken tried to focus the dialogue on missile basing and navy workout routines within the area, Mr. Ryabkov mentioned that Russia’s goals within the talks would go nicely past arms-control points. Indicators despatched by American officers forward of the talks, he mentioned, “replicate a lack of know-how of what we’d like,” in line with the RIA Novosti information company.

Mr. Ryabkov mentioned that Russia would search to revise the connection with the West that was put in place with the NATO-Russia Founding Act of 1997. That settlement was adopted by nations within the former Soviet sphere of affect becoming a member of the Western alliance, and plenty of in Moscow see it as having disregarded Russia’s safety pursuits in Europe.

“We have to guarantee the curbing of the damaging NATO actions which were happening for many years and produce NATO again to positions which are basically equal to what was the case in 1997,” Mr. Ryabkov mentioned, in line with the Interfax information company. “However it’s exactly on these points that we hear least of all any readiness on the a part of the American facet and NATO to come back to an settlement.”