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Russia unaware if NATO agrees to talks on guarantees of security — Kremlin spokesman

Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin urged NATO to hold such talks

MOSCOW, December 6. /TASS/. Moscow is currently unaware if the West will exert political will to hold substantial talks in order to provide Russia with reliable and long-terms guarantees of security, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview Monday.

Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin urged NATO to hold such talks.

"The President has initiated these talks. We don’t know yet if our partners will exert corresponding political will and agree to such contacts," the spokesman said.

He noted that the corresponding order has already been issued to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"And I have no doubts that our diplomats - high-level professionals led by Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov - will look for interlocutors to start such negotiations. But we shall see whether it will be a success or not," the spokesman said.

Peskov noted that, earlier, Putin proposed to hold a meeting of the UN Security Council permanent members "in order to discuss global challenges and ways to resolve them." According to the spokesman, this initiative is currently relevant like never before.

"We have been unable to negotiate these schedules with the Americans yet. There is no such political will at this point," he concluded.

Earlier, speaking at the ambassadors’ credentials presentation ceremony, Putin proposed to initiate substantial negotiations to achieve legal guarantees of NATO’s non-expansion to the east. The Russian leader emphasized that Russia "needs legal, judicial guarantees, because the Western colleagues failed to fulfill their verbal obligations".