The Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed that the upcoming discussions between Moscow and Washington on security guarantees will focus on the non-expansion of NATO to the east, despite the US side’s statements about its refusal to discuss this issue.
The ministry’s spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said in a statement today, Saturday: “Statements appeared in the United States and a number of Western countries in which it was stated that the upcoming discussions in the near future of the Russian proposal on establishing legal security guarantees will not address the issue of NATO’s non-expansion. In this context, we stress that the non-expansion of NATO and the non-deployment of weapons systems that threaten our security on our borders are the main and pivotal issues in the upcoming talks with the United States and NATO.
“This matter must be clearly understood by those who have not yet grasped the essence of the Russian position,” Zakharova added.
On December 17, Russia published draft agreements with the United States and NATO member states that include provisions on mutual security guarantees in Europe, including the non-deployment of medium and short-range missiles in the areas of access to the enemy’s territory, and the alliance’s abandonment of its further expansion.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov stressed that the failure of NATO and the United States to respond to Russia’s demands for security guarantees could lead to a new round of confrontation.
In turn, the administration of US President Joe Biden has expressed its willingness to hold discussions with Russia in January, but said there are points it does not intend to discuss.