Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO), decided to convene a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council on January 12, 2022. This was announced on Saturday, December 25, by the Turkish agency Anadolu, citing a source in the alliance.
“We are in contact with Russia on this issue,” the agency quotes its interlocutor.
It is noted that on the same day a meeting of the chiefs of general staff of NATO member states will be held in Brussels.
The fact that the meeting could take place in early January was announced on December 24 by the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova. According to her, Moscow received offers from the North Atlantic Alliance to hold a Russia-NATO Council meeting in January 2022. She reaffirmed the Kremlin’s readiness for a direct dialogue with NATO on the Russian draft agreements on security guarantees.
The topic of the talks could be Russia’s proposals on security guarantees. Among other things, Moscow demands that Washington and its allies abandon NATO expansion, stop military cooperation with post-Soviet countries, remove American nuclear weapons from Europe, and withdraw NATO forces to the 1997 positions.
On the same day, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Russian Federation expects to receive concrete answers from the United States in January to proposals on security guarantees. At the same time, he stressed that the United States and European countries are conducting unambiguous maneuvers and exercises in the immediate vicinity of the borders of the Russian Federation, and this cannot but cause concern on the Russian side.
On December 23, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that the Russian Federation responded promptly and constructively to Washington’s proposals and sent its proposals on security guarantees. The President added that the American partners have declared their readiness for discussion and negotiations on security issues at the beginning of the year in Geneva.
Earlier, on December 21, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg expressed hope that a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council would be convened in the new year. He expressed hope for a meaningful dialogue with the Russian Federation.
On December 17, the Russian Foreign Ministry published draft agreements between Russia and the United States and NATO on security guarantees. As follows from the documents, in particular, the alliance should refuse to conduct any military activity on the territory of Ukraine and other states of Eastern Europe, Transcaucasia and Central Asia.