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Russian Foreign Ministry Releases Response to US on Security Guarantees

© Sputnik / Natalia Seliverstova / Go to the mediabankThe building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation in Moscow
The building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation in Moscow - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.02.2022
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier in the day that the response to the United States on the security proposals would be made public. A State Department official has confirmed to CBS that the response was received by US Ambassador to Moscow John Sullivan.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has released its response to the United States on the security proposals in Eastern Europe.
In the document, the ministry specifically stressed that the West’s demands that Russia should withdraw its troops from its certain areas are unacceptable.

The ministry pointed out that Russia is concerned over “the growing military activity of the United States and NATO directly near Russian borders, while our ‘red lines’ and core security interests, as well as Russia’s sovereign right to protect them, are still being ignored”.

"Ultimatum-like demands to withdraw troops from certain areas on the Russian territories accompanied by threats of tougher sanctions are unacceptable and undermine the prospects for reaching real agreements", according to the response.

The ministry also stressed that Russia does not plan any “invasion” of Ukraine, which is why “statements about Moscow’s responsibility for the escalation cannot be regarded otherwise than as an attempt to exert pressure and devalue Russia's proposals on security guarantees”.

Russia believes that to de-escalate the situation around Ukraine, “it is fundamentally important” to implement an array of steps, including the halt of arms supplies to Ukraine, the recall of all Western advisers and instructors from there, and NATO countries’ refusal to hold any joint exercises with the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

“In this regard, we draw your attention to the fact that Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed after talks with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron in Moscow on 7 February that we are open to dialogue and call for ‘thinking about stable and equal conditions of security for all participants in international life”, the ministry underscored.

Touching upon the issue of European security, the Ministry noted that Russia “proceeds from the fact that the deployment of the Russian Armed Forces’ units on its territory does not and cannot affect fundamental US interests. We would like to remind you that we don’t have our forces on Ukrainian soil”.
At the same time, the United States and its allies promoted their military infrastructure, deploying their contingents on the territories of NATO’s new members, according to the Ministry’s response.

The ministry also emphasised that the US’ strong support for “the policy of NATO’s open doors” runs counter to the basic commitments made within the framework of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which is above all an obligation “not to strengthen one’s security at the expense of the security of others”.

“We urge the US and NATO to return to the implementation of international obligations in the field of maintaining peace and security. We expect Brussels to put forward specific legal proposals on the alliance’s non-implementation of its plan on NATO’s eastward expansion”, the ministry noted.
Also, the ministry bemoaned the fact that the US had ignored that Russian proposals on security guarantees came as a package and chose to discuss only "convenient" issues.
"The package nature of Russian proposals was ignored, and 'convenient' topics were deliberately chosen, which, in turn, were 'twisted' to make advantages for the US and its allies”, the Ministry underlined, adding that in the US response to the security guarantee proposals, Moscow did not see the American side’s adherence to the immutable principle of indivisibility of security.

Russia's Security Guarantee Proposals

The remarks come after Russia received the West's written response to Moscow’s proposals on regional security, which it put forward late last year.
Commenting on the matter, Russian President Vladimir Putin pointed out earlier this month that the West had basically ignored the Kremlin's proposals. Putin elaborated that the US specifically failed to satisfy three key proposals by Russia in the field of security.

"We did not see our three key demands adequately considered: stopping NATO's expansion, refusing to use strike weapons systems near Russian borders, and returning the bloc's military infrastructure in Europe to how it was in 1997”, the Russian president underscored.

The draft agreements on security guarantees, which were released by the Russian Foreign Ministry in December 2021, envisage legally binding commitments by Moscow and Washington not to deploy weapons and forces in areas where they may be a threat to each other's national security.
In line with the proposals, Moscow also demanded that NATO stop its eastward expansion towards Russia's borders and avoid inviting post-Soviet countries into the alliance, or creating military bases on their territory.
The Russian Foreign Ministry’s Thursday response comes as Western countries continue to accuse Moscow of amassing troops near Russia's border with Ukraine, which they claim allegedly indicates the Kremlin's plan to invade the country. Moscow has repeatedly denied what it slams as absurd and unfounded allegations, saying that troop movements are purely defensive given NATO's increased military activity near Russia's borders, and stressed that it has the right to move forces within its own territory at its discretion.
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