MOSCOW, February 15. /TASS/. Russia cannot turn a blind eye on the fact that the United States and NATO are interpreting the principle of indivisible security "quite freely and for their own benefit," Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday after talks with visiting German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
"Russia cannot turn a blind eye on how the United States and the North Atlantic Alliance are interpreting, quite freely and for their own benefit, the key principles of equal and indivisible security, which are committed to paper in many European documents," he said.
He recalled that this principle includes not only the right to choose ways of ensuring own security and join any military unions or alliances, but also the liability not to strengthen one’s security at the expense of the security of other countries. He noted that although under article 10 of the 1949 North Atlantic Treaty the alliance is free to invite other countries, it is not obliged to do it.
Putin said they "frankly exchanged views" with Scholz on the situation around Russia’s proposals on security guarantees. "We also spoke about [Moscow’s] basic demands, the most essential of which are to stop NATO’s further eastwards expansion, not to deploy offensive weapons near Russian borders and to return the bloc’s military potential and infrastructure in Europe to the state of 1997 when the Russia-NATO Founding Act was signed," Putin said.