The main signal to the West, which was voiced during the press conference of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is that it is the North Atlantic Alliance that should provide Russia with security guarantees. This was announced on Thursday, December 23, by Leonid Slutsky, chairman of the State Duma’s international affairs committee.
“Once again, very clear signals were sent to our Western partners. The most important of them is that it is NATO that should provide security guarantees for Russia. It is not Russian missiles that are deployed along the American borders, but the Alliance countries are on the doorstep of our house with their weapons. And it is not for Washington and Brussels to put forward conditions now, ”he wrote in his Telegram channel.
According to the deputy, the West must now give Russia security guarantees, moreover, legally enshrined. He also noted that Moscow is counting on constructive negotiations, which should begin at the beginning of the year in Geneva.
“For our part, we are ready for inter-parliamentary cooperation, including on this issue, but the ball is also on the side of our colleagues in the United States,” added Slutsky.
Earlier that day, the presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov, answering a question from an Izvestia correspondent, said that talks between representatives of the Russian president and American leader Joe Biden on security issues could take place in January.
During a press conference, the Russian leader stressed that Moscow had made it clear that NATO’s eastward movement was unacceptable. Further actions of the Russian Federation will depend not on the course of the negotiations, but on the unconditional provision of Russia’s security.
According to him, the Western countries in the 1990s gave guarantees that the North Atlantic Alliance would not move eastward, but they “blatantly deceived” the Russian Federation.
On December 21, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed that further NATO advance towards the Russian borders would be regarded as crossing the “red line”. The head of the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed that Russia sincerely wants to prevent a negative development of events according to the scenarios that are drawn by a number of the alliance’s strategists.
On the same day, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) announced that it is ready to become a platform for NATO-Russia talks on security guarantees. The OSCE offers a range of formal and informal mechanisms and tools that can be used to build dialogue and create an atmosphere of trust, the organization noted.
On December 17, the Russian Foreign Ministry published draft agreements between Russia and the United States and NATO on security guarantees. As stated in the document, the countries of the alliance undertake to exclude Ukraine from joining the alliance and further expansion. The United States must commit to rule out further eastward expansion of NATO and refuse to admit countries that were formerly part of the USSR into the alliance.