MOSCOW, December 10. /TASS/. Moscow is calling on NATO countries to take the topic of mutual security guarantees as seriously as possible, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said at an online briefing on Friday.
"We are embarking along this path, and this path must be traversed quickly. An assessment of the chances of obtaining security assurances, which we would perceive as security assurances, rather than mere empty promises and meaningless vague language, is premature and ill-timed," he said.
"After, historically speaking, a relatively short period of time, we will understand whether our colleagues (in NATO - TASS) are serious about what we are talking about now. We are calling on them to take this as seriously as possible," the senior Russian diplomat stressed.
Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier called on NATO to start talks to give Russia "reliable and long-term security guarantees." Moscow will be insisting in its dialogue with Washington and its allies "on producing concrete agreements" that would rule out NATO’s further eastward expansion or the deployment near Russian territory of weapon systems threatening its security, Putin said. The Russian leader said that Moscow needed legally binding guarantees because the West had failed to fulfill its previous verbal commitments.
Putin and his US counterpart Joe Biden held a two-hour video call on December 7 and agreed to task their teams to start consultations on this and other issues.