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Russia prepared for difficult talks with US on security guarantees — senior diplomat

So far, Sergey Ryabkov doesn’t have an understanding of who would be his counterpart on the American side at the talks

MOSCOW, December 27. /TASS/. Talks with the US on security guarantees won’t be easy and Russia is ready for this, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said in an interview with the Foreign Affairs magazine, made public on Monday.

The senior diplomat noted that so far, he doesn’t have an understanding of who would be his counterpart on the American side at the talks. "If the Americans think that the same teams that have been conducting the dialogue on the strategic stability over less than six months should be involved, then the American counterpart would be US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman," he said. "In my opinion, Ms. Sherman, besides being a diplomat of the highest caliber, a high-level professional, is a person who very rigorously protects American interests, so in any case, there won’t be an easy way," he explained.

According to him, the Russian side "is ready for this." "This is precisely the purpose of our work - to find the points of mutual understanding even in the most complex situations," the deputy foreign minister emphasized.

On December 17, the Russian Foreign Ministry published the draft agreements between Russia and the US on security guarantees and the measures of ensuring the security of Russia and NATO member states. These drafts were submitted to Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Karen Donfried on December 15.

On Thursday, a high-ranking representative of the US administration said at a special phone briefing that the US leadership considers some Russian security proposals unacceptable but overall is ready for talks with Russia along various channels as early as the beginning of January.