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Russia unsure of US, NATO concessions on security guarantees but dialogue continues

Sergey Ryabkov noted that dialogue was still underway at many levels and in many directions

MOSCOW, January 13. /TASS/. Russia is not sure whether its US and NATO partners will resort to concessions regarding proposed security guarantees, but the dialogue on this issue is still underway at various levels, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said in an interview with the RTVI television channel.

Asked whether Moscow hoped for concessions on behalf of Russia’s US and NATO partners regarding security guarantees, Ryabkov said: "Hope springs eternal."

"However, in this case, we are rather uncertain that this is possible," the high-ranking Russian diplomat said. "We need to continue being insistent to achieve the right course and the right evolution on the Western side. This is what we will continue doing."

"I must reiterate that dialogue is still underway at many levels and in many directions," Ryabkov added.

The negotiations between Moscow and Washington dedicated to Russia’s proposed security guarantees concluded on January 10 in Geneva. On January 12, Russia discussed its security concerns in Europe, as well as its drafts on security assurances at a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council in Brussels, and on January 13 is discussing the same issue at the Vienna session of the OSCE Permanent Council.

On December 17, 2021, 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.

NATO ready to hear

As NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and US Representative to NATO Julianne Smith said earlier, the Western-led bloc is ready to hear Russia’s concerns and is ready to begin an open and reasonable dialogue but is not ready for compromises, especially on the issues of its expansion.

Moscow’s security demands are addressed to the United States and European nations. Moscow has not sent them to such international organizations as the European Union (EU) and NATO. In a broad outline, Russia’s stance boils down to three key points: the pullout of US nuclear weapons from Europe, the termination of the practice of deploying NATO’s conventional forces near Russia’s borders and creating its military infrastructure there, and NATO’s official refusal to draw Ukraine and Georgia into the alliance.

In Moscow’s opinion, these measures will help remedy a serious imbalance in security in Europe that emerged after the break-up of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. This will help considerably ease the military and political tension and rejoin the baseline principle affirmed by all of the OSCE member states at their Istanbul summit in 1999 that the security of one state or a group of states cannot be ensured at the expense of the security of other states.