VIENNA, December 15. /TASS/. Russia does not rule out increased confrontation in Europe unless its demands for security guarantees are met, said Konstantin Gavrilov, the Russian envoy at arms control talks in Vienna.
"We will not tolerate attempts to test our security," Gavrilov, head of the Russian delegation at the Vienna military security and arms control talks, said at a meeting of the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation. "If the US and NATO do not respond to Russia's demand for security guarantees, our response will not be long in coming."
"We don’t rule out a new spiral of confrontation in Europe," he went on to say.
Russia insists on getting serious legal guarantees that will exclude NATO's eastward expansion and the deployment of weapons that could threaten the country along its western borders, he said. Moscow also wants to hear a response to its proposals to de-escalate the situation in Europe that, among other things, call for military exercises to take place at a distance from the borders of NATO countries and Russia. Some other proposals seek to resume regular military contacts and establish how close Russian and NATO warships and aircraft can come to each other, as a way to prevent incidents in the Black and Baltic seas, the diplomat said.
He blamed NATO countries for ignoring Russia’s concerns for decades, refusing to consider Russian proposals to make Europe safer and showing no willingness to cooperate.
When Russia reaches out and NATO tuns it down, he said, "The conclusion is obvious: They have malicious plans against the Russian Federation."
The military and political steps taken by the West confirm, he said, the course towards destabilizing the situation near Russian borders as NATO is steadily moving its infrastructure and weapons closer to the country.
"It’s obvious to us that the course toward the absorption of Ukraine and Georgia by this bloc will entail the appearance there of offensive missile systems," with the missiles capable of striking central Russia very soon after being fired, he said. "Such irresponsible behavior creates unacceptable threats to the national security of our country and stokes serious military risks for all sides," he said.