MOSCOW, March 16. /TASS/. The 'arrogant' US-led West ignored Moscow’s proposed security guarantees following many years of admonitions and exhortations from the Russian side regarding NATO’s steady eastward expansion, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday.
"Once the Warsaw Pact dissolved, and even after the Soviet Union became extinct, NATO, at its own discretion and without consultations whatsoever with anyone, who had been a part of the balance of power on the European continent, set out on moving eastward and kept moving the line of the defense, pushing it further and further in the direction to the right," Lavrov said in an interview with Russia’s RBC TV channel.
"When this line was pushed right up [to Russian borders] and all our admonitions over the past 20 years were not taken seriously, we drafted our own initiatives on European security and they, to our deep disappointment, have been shrugged off by our arrogant Western partners," Lavrov explained.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said last Saturday that the previously proposed security guarantees to the United States and NATO were no longer valid because the situation has dramatically changed.
Agreements on security guarantees
On December 17, 2021, the Russian Foreign Ministry published Moscow’s two draft agreements on security guarantees, which Russia expected from the US and NATO.
On January 26, Washington and NATO handed over their written reply to Moscow’s proposals on security guarantees. The US side requested that the texts of these documents should not be published. However, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg outlined their basic provisions. These statements suggest that the West has refused to make concessions fundamental for Moscow, but indicated areas for further negotiations.
Military operation in Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in Ukraine in order to protect people "who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years." The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories and the operation was aimed at demilitarizing and denazifying Ukraine.
When clarifying the developments unfolding, the Russian Defense Ministry reassured that Russian troops are not targeting Ukrainian cities, but are limited to surgically striking and incapacitating Ukrainian military infrastructure. There are no threats whatsoever to the civilian population.