US officials have asked their Russian counterparts not to release Washington’s written response to Moscow’s security guarantee proposals. On Friday, January 21, The Washington Post reports, citing a source.
Despite this, it is noted that a senior State Department official admitted that the Kremlin may decide to release the document after receiving it next week.
As the State Department told the publication, the US written response will include American proposals on security issues and demonstrate Washington’s interest in continuing dialogue with Moscow. It is clarified that the document will not contain promises regarding restrictions on the admission of new countries to NATO.
Earlier in the day, Sergei Ryabkov said Russia would make “serious political decisions” if the US and NATO response on security assurances was disappointing. At the same time, the Deputy Foreign Minister noted that the role of diplomacy in any case remains central.
Ryabkov also said that the United States promised to provide a response to Russia’s proposals for security guarantees next week. He noted that Moscow plans “a thorough, fundamental consideration of all aspects.”
In turn, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that the United States, in written proposals to Russia, will describe Washington’s ideas about how countries can strengthen each other’s sense of security.
On January 21, talks between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on security guarantees in Geneva ended. They lasted an hour and a half. Following the meeting, the parties will separately hold press conferences. Also, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced on January 21 that there were no insurmountable differences between Russia and the United States. The ministry pointed out the need to re-build an atmosphere of trust between countries.
Negotiations on security guarantees were held in three stages in January. On January 10, a meeting of the Russian and US delegations took place in Geneva. On January 12, a meeting of the Russia-NATO Council was held in Brussels, and on January 13, consultations ended at the Vienna site of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
Ryabkov pointed out that the US and NATO were not ready to meet Russian proposals for security guarantees. According to him, NATO’s position on the issue of non-expansion of the alliance is “impenetrable”, which is alarming. The Deputy Minister also stressed that the issue of non-expansion of NATO is a key issue for the national security of the Russian Federation.
On December 17, the Russian Foreign Ministry published draft agreements between Russia, the United States and NATO on security guarantees. It follows from the documents that the alliance must renounce any military activity on the territory of Ukraine and other states of Eastern Europe, Transcaucasia and Central Asia. Also, Russia and NATO must pledge not to create conditions that can be regarded as a threat by the other side.