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US response to security guarantee proposals cannot satisfy Russia — Lavrov

The document reacts to three key problems that Moscow specified, and the answer to these questions is negative, the Russian Foreign Minister revealed

MOSCOW, February 14. /TASS/. Washington’s response to Russian security guarantee proposals cannot satisfy Moscow, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a meeting with President Putin on Monday.

"The US response consists of two parts. The first part reacts to our three key problems that we specified - NATO’s non-expansion, non-deployment of strike weapons threatening us, and in general the return of the military and military-technical configuration in Europe to the positions of 1997, when the Russia-NATO Founding Act was signed, in which the task to ensure the indivisibility of security was mentioned for the first part in this format," Lavrov said. "The answer to these questions is negative, of course it cannot satisfy us," he stressed.

It was said in the response that above all is the right of every state to be free to choose or change its security arrangements, including treaties or alliance, and this is not discussed, Lavrov said.

Moscow reiterates to Washington and other Western partners that this right documented in top-level decisions of the OSCE and Russia-NATO, is conditional on the commitments not to strengthen one’s security at the expense of the security of the other states.

"A second very important point is that no country, or a group of countries, no organization can dominate in the OSCE space," he said. "Meanwhile, regretfully we are witnessing attempts from our NATO colleagues and the European Union looking for its place, to somehow make it so that it is exactly they that are to determine the future development of our continent," the top Russian diplomat stressed.

Security guarantee proposals

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. The proposed measures include guarantees that NATO will not advance eastward, including the accession of Ukraine and other countries into the alliance, as well as non-deployment of serious offensive weapons, including nuclear ones. The sides have had several rounds of consultations in various formats but no agreements have yet been announced.

On January 26, the US and NATO handed over written responses to Russia on Moscow’s security guarantees that it was demanding from Washington and Brussels. The American side requested that the documents not be made public, although US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg enumerated their basic provisions. According to these statements, the West did not make concessions to Russia considered to be critical, but did indicate directions for further negotiations.