MOSCOW, January 19. /TASS/. Russia would prefer to reach an agreement on security guarantees primarily with the US as the involvement of a great number of countries is counterproductive, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Wednesday.
"We would prefer to reach an understanding and agree primarily with the Americans," he said at a meeting of the Valdai discussion club. "We regard it as counterproductive to involve a circle of countries that’s too wide."
Ryabkov said that Washington, Brussels and other NATO capitals continue to make "unsubstantiated claims primarily in connection with what is happening in and around Ukraine." He said diplomats on the other side seek to rework the content of parts of the Russian proposals so they suit them better.
In Geneva, Russia made it clear to the US, he said, what the proposals were and that it was imperative to provide legally binding guarantees that NATO won’t expand, offensive weapons won’t be deployed near Russian borders and NATO forces will roll back to 1997 positions.
On December 17, 2021, the Russian Foreign Ministry released a draft agreement on security guarantees between Russia and the United States and a draft agreement on ensuring the security of Russia and NATO member states.
Consultations on the issue took place in Geneva on January 10, followed by a meeting of the Russia-NATO Council in Brussels on January 12 and a session of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Permanent Council in Vienna on January 13.