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West would regret missing opportunity to agree security guarantees with Moscow — diplomat

According to Sergey Ryabkov, Moscow can’t bank on Brussels’ assurances, legally-binding security guarantees should be created

MOSCOW, December 2. /TASS/. The West will have regrets if it once again misses the opportunity to negotiate with Moscow over guarantees to halt NATO’s expansion eastward, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Russia’s Channel One on Thursday.

"We can’t bank on Brussels’ assurances, we witness what happens with vociferous promises. Everything turns upside down over the years. In the end, we get a radically worsened situation in Europe as a result of NATO expansion led by the United States, of territories directly adjacent to the Russian borders," he added.

According to Ryabkov, this is the reason why Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the Foreign Ministry to create legally-binding security guarantees and not to allow "further destruction of the security system in its existing form. If we do not succeed, our retaliatory measures, our counter-steps will be very tough, and the West will have regrets, I’d think, that they once again lost the opportunity to negotiate with Russia under the rule of reason," Ryabkov underscored.

On Wednesday, Putin offered to launch substantive negotiations to achieve legal guarantees of NATO’s eastward non-proliferation. The Russian head of state emphasized that Moscow "needed legal guarantees, since its Western colleagues had not fulfilled its spoken obligations."