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Putin Conceptually Approves Russia Foreign Ministry's Responses on Security Guarantees With US, NATO

© Sputnik / Evgeny Biyatov / Go to the mediabankKremlin, Moscow
Kremlin, Moscow - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.02.2022
Russia put forth its proposals on regional security at the end of last year amid growing tensions around Ukraine. The West, which claims that Russia is planning an "invasion", rejected Moscow's key proposals for ensuring stability and security in the region.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved in principle the 10-page written draft response by the Foreign Ministry on security guarantees with the US and NATO. Discussing the West's responses to Moscow's security proposals with Putin, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia prepared its written response to the US and NATO and suggested that Moscow continue talks with the West on security guarantees.
Lavrov noted that both the US and NATO are ready to start serious talks on some of the security guarantees mentioned in the Russian proposals.

"We have already said more than once...that we warn against endless conversations on issues that need to be resolved today. Today, nevertheless, being the head of the Foreign Ministry, I must say that there is always a chance [to agree with the West on the security proposals]", Lavrov said.

The foreign minister further said that despite the US and NATO's negative response to Russia's key security proposals, their reaction to the secondary issues mentioned in them was more "constructive in its nature". He suggested to the president that this section of the response contained proposals for certain measures that might allow the countries to achieve greater military transparency, reduce the risks of war and increase mutual trust.

Kremlin Dissatisfied With US, NATO Response to Key Issues in Moscow's Security Proposals

Lavrov also stated that Moscow is "unsatisfied" with the response that it received to its security proposals from the US. The foreign minister assured Putin that Russia will try to obtain responses to the questions from the security proposals that remained unanswered. Lavrov specifically mentioned a special message that he had sent to colleagues in the West, in which he pointed at the need to uphold the principle of indivisible security.

"I received an unsatisfactory response. None of my fellow ministers responded to my direct message. [The EU and NATO's responses said:] 'Don't worry; we need to continue the dialogue; the main goal is to ensure de-escalation around Ukraine'", Lavrov recalled the West's response.

The minister summed up the received response as showing NATO and the EU's attempts to determine the development vector of the entire continent in accordance with their own desires. Lavrov pointed out that the agreement signed by the members of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) strictly forbids any country or groups of states from "dominating" the OSCE.
Lavrov also said that the Russian Foreign Ministry and colleagues from other ministries have studied the received responses and drew certain conclusions based on them.

"We have received the responses - the response from the US and the response from NATO. We carefully studied them together with our colleagues[...]. We are primarily interested in the answer of the United States, because it is evident who plays the main role in resolving these issues among Western nations".

Tensions Around Ukraine

Moscow sent its security proposals to the US and NATO amid growing tensions sparked by the West's allegations that Russia is planning an "invasion" of Ukraine. The West cited alleged movements by Russian troops towards the border with Ukraine as a source for their concerns.
The Kremlin rejected their allegations and stressed that it has the right to move the nation's troops within its own territory as it deems fit.
Moscow also pointed at the growing number of NATO troops moving ever closer to the country's borders, including via the inclusion of new Eastern European nations in the alliance.
The security proposals, designed by Moscow as a framework to reduce tensions and ensure security and stability in the region, included two key proposals: for NATO not to permit Ukraine to join and to withdraw its forces to the bloc's 1997 borders. The proposals also included a number of secondary issues – such as signing new arms control accords and limiting the scale of military drills on each others' borders.
Both the US and NATO strongly rejected Moscow's key proposals insisting on Ukraine's right to choose its alliances, including the North Atlantic bloc. They, however, supported some of the secondary ideas proposing that the Kremlin start a dialogue on arms control and issues concerning the scale of war games.
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