MADRID, February 2. /TASS/. The US and NATO have offered Moscow a dialogue on arms control and measures to prevent incidents in exchange for de-escalation in Ukraine and the withdrawal of Russian troops and peacekeepers from Crimea, Transnistria, South Ossetia, and Abkhazia, according to the Spanish newspaper El Pais which released the full text of the confidential US-NATO responses to Russia’s proposals on security guarantees.
"Russia withdrawing forces from Ukraine (NATO refers to Crimea, which it claims is Ukrainian territory — TASS), Georgia (South Ossetia and Abkhazia — TASS), and the Republic of Moldova (Transnistria — TASS) where they are deployed without the host nations' consent," the document reads. The Western-led military bloc also calls on Moscow to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine. In return, NATO and the US "remain open to meaningful arms control discussions and dialogue with Russia on reciprocal transparency and confidence-building measures."
Concerns over Moscow’s alleged preparations for an invasion into Ukraine have been increasingly announced in the West and in Kiev recently. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov castigated these statements as an empty and groundless escalation of tension, emphasizing that Russia posed no threat to anyone. At the same time, the Kremlin press secretary did not exclude some possible provocations to justify such claims and warned that the attempts to resolve the Ukrainian conflict by force would carry extremely serious consequences.