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Ambassador Antonov: Russian president to decide on feasibility of further dialogue with US

Washington suggests focusing on important, but basically secondary issues, the Russian diplomat noted
Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS
Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov
© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

NEW YORK, February 2. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will decide on the advisability of further dialogue with the United States after its written response to Russian proposals on security guarantees, Russia’s Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov said in an interview with Newsweek published on Wednesday.

Antonov told Newsweek that due to the passion of US counterparts "for vague wordings and the aspiration to push the negotiations on security guarantees behind closed doors, the public has a wrong picture about what stage this process is at."

"We presented to the US administration our proposals on legally binding security guarantees on December 15 and published the texts of draft agreements with the United States and NATO on December 17," Antonov said.

"We received written reactions from Washington and Brussels only the previous week - on January 26. Thus, it took our Western partners more than five weeks to prepare the answers," he said.

"We are currently conducting an interagency analysis of the documents provided to us. Its results will be reported to Russian President Vladimir Putin who will decide on the feasibility of further dialogue," Antonov said.

Antonov emphasized that "that we are not very enthusiastic about the essence of the US (and NATO) responses."

"Washington suggests focusing on important, but basically secondary issues," he added.

"The United States concentrates on the right of states to choose alliances, enshrined in the declarations of the Istanbul (1999) and Astana (2010) OSCE Summits," he stated. "At the same time, it ignores the fact that these particular documents condition this right on the obligation not to strengthen its security at the expense of the security of others."

Boosting security by weakening Russia

"The main problem is that NATO countries are strengthening their security by weakening Russia," the ambassador said. "We do not agree with such an approach."

"That is why Sergey Lavrov sent a message to Secretary of State Antony Blinken (conveyed to the State Department on January 28), in which Russia insists that the agreement on the indivisibility of security should be implemented in good faith," Antonov said. "We want to receive confirmation of the commitments made by the United States earlier. Otherwise, it is necessary to honestly explain why the United States and its allies do not want to follow the decisions agreed to by all of our nations."

The Russian ambassador stressed that the request had been sent not only to the United States, but also to the foreign ministers of Canada and some European countries "whose signatures are under the abovementioned declarations."

"We hope that our Western colleagues will not delay an answer," Antonov said.