MOSCOW, December 18. /TASS/. Russia and NATO have reached "the moment of truth" in their relations and Moscow is seeking to defuse tensions with its proposals for security guarantees, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said on Saturday.
"The moment of truth has come," he said on Solovyov Live YouTube channel. "We have reached a red line and our proposals aim to pull us away from this red line and start a normal dialogue that will put security interests at the forefront."
"We in a very clear manner have defined the way forward to achieve that," he went on to say.
NATO has been violating earlier agreements by stationing significant combat capabilities on the territory of new members of the alliance and deploying or creating infrastructure to deploy nuclear weapons there, Grushko said. That has prompted Moscow to make proposals that would remove any misconceptions by using more definite terms.
NATO’s talk about a threat from the east is the only reason holding the alliance together, Grushko stressed.
"It’s very dangerous," he said.
NATO, he said, lives in a fantasy world that doesn’t have anything to do with security in Europe. All activities by NATO seek only to keep the alliance alive, he said.
Russia in Friday released draft agreements titled the Treaty Between the US and Russia on Security Guarantees and On Measures to Ensure the Security of the Russian Federation and Member States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The proposals were handed over to a US representative at a meeting at the Russian Foreign Ministry on December 15.
Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier called on NATO to start substantive talks to give Russia reliable and long-term security guarantees. The guarantees will need to be legally binding because, Putin said, the West had walked back on their previous verbal commitments.
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Kremlin Aide Yury Ushakov told Sullivan that Russia was ready for an immediate start of the talks about the proposed agreements on security guarantees. Russia would be represented in the talks by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov.