Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a news conference on Friday that Russia was preparing for any change in the situation, while awaiting a response from the United States and NATO on security guarantees. Russia has also strongly reiterated its call for NATO not to expand eastward, despite the Alliance’s rejection of the request. At the same time, the head of diplomacy in Moscow declared the day before that Russia will not withdraw its troops deployed near the border with Ukraine to the barracks.
„The Russian Federation is not ready to wait forever for the US and NATO to respond to its security demands and wants a detailed written response to every proposal expressed in the negotiationsLavrov said.
At the annual press conference, the head of diplomacy in Moscow said President Vladimir Putin could make a decision on the situation on the border with Ukraine once Moscow receives a concrete and detailed response to its Western proposals and counter-proposals.
At the same time, the Russian Foreign Minister pointed out that Moscow has reason to believe that the United States and NATO could start consolidating its armed forces near Russia in the coming months, using tensions on the border with Ukraine as a pretext, Reuters reports.
Lavrov said Russia wants the security conflict in Europe to be resolved through mutual respect and a balance of interests. He also said that „Moscow has various options if the West rejects Russia’s security proposals”.
Read also: NATO-Russia Council talks concluded. Stoltenberg: “There is a real risk of a new armed conflict in Europe”
Russia is asking the United States and NATO for an answer on the situation in Ukraine by next week
Sergei Lavrov on Friday described Moscow’s demands that NATO not expand and deploy forces in Ukraine and other former Soviet countries as essential to the progress of diplomatic efforts to defuse growing tensions over Ukraine.
He said the deployment of NATO forces and weapons near Russia’s borders was a security challenge that needed to be addressed immediately.
“It simply came to our notice then. We had a lot, we waited for a specific answer to our proposals, now is the time for things to moveLavrov told a news conference. “The West has been ruled by pride and exacerbated tensions, violating its obligations and common sense.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at a press conference in Moscow. Photo: Profimedia Images
Lavrov said Russia expects Washington and NATO to provide a written response to its requests by next week. writes Washington Post.
“We are aware that the prospects for reaching a consensus depend on the United States,” the Russian official said. this dialogue, according to the Russian agency TASS.
“We are not very interested in who is taking part in the negotiations as long as the United States is in charge, because it depends on how security policy is built in Europe and, in fact, in other parts of the world,” he said. the head of Russian diplomacy.
Regarding a separate dialogue with the EU, such as the one currently taking place with the US and NATO, Lavrov stressed that Washington and the North Atlantic Alliance should be asked if “they will allow the EU to act independently”, adding that Russia is interested in “Autonomous” European Union. However, he noted that it was not yet known in what format the EU could participate in security talks in Europe.
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell on Thursday assured that the current US-EU coordination of negotiations with Russia is “absolutely perfect”.
The statements of the Russian Foreign Minister were made in the context in which the talks between Russia and the Western states got into a blockage, this week.
Amid tensions on the border with the Russian Federation and ahead of the Moscow conference, Ukrainian government websites were the target of a “massive cyber attack” on Thursday night. The attack contained a warning message: “Fear and expect the worst.” Ukrainian authorities have launched an investigation.
Russia will not withdraw its troops near the Ukrainian border into the barracks
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday evening that Moscow had no plans to discuss with NATO or the United States issues related to the movement of its troops in the Russian Federation and would not consider withdrawing troops from the Ukrainian border. barracks, as US Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman had urged in Russian-US talks this week.
There is no question of Russia discussing the issue „to bring the troops back to the barracks”, Lavrov insisted, adding that Washington’s request is „unacceptable”.
„It is already being demanded not only the withdrawal of military units from the border with Ukraine, as they (Westerners) generally put it, but their return to the barracks, as Wendy Sherman said in public at a news conference at the end of talks on Monday. the delegation led by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryakov in Geneva”, Lavrov said.
„I don’t think it is necessary to explain that such requests are absolutely unacceptable and, of course, we will not examine them.”, added the head of Russian diplomacy.
Lavrov: The Russia-NATO Council was a discussion „professional”
Russia’s foreign minister considers the Russia-NATO Council meeting, the second round of talks between Moscow and the West on January 12th, to be a discussion „professional”, adopting a slightly more conciliatory tone than other representatives of Russian diplomacy, such as his deputy Sergei Riabkov, according to journalists from the independent television station Dojdi.
About Riabkov, the Russian media wrote that he became „the diplomatic star” of this week, especially through his statements expressed in a less diplomatic language, notes Agerpres.
NATO should „to pack up and return to the 1997 limits”, when most of the countries of the former Soviet camp had not joined the Alliance, the Russian deputy minister had said in an interview with the official Russian agency TASS before talks with the American delegation led by Wendy Sherman on Monday in Geneva.
The North Atlantic Alliance will no longer be able to „push away” Russia has played a secondary role in European and international politics, Riabkov warned in the same interview. He was referring to the year when the Founding Act was signed between Russia and NATO, which stipulates that the parties „they are not considered opponents” and creates „a mechanism for consultation, coordination and joint action”, the document characterizing, in fact, the state of relations between Russia and NATO at that time.
Since then, however, relations between the two sides have deteriorated, especially after Moscow annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in 2014, when hostilities broke out in eastern Ukraine, which Kiev claims were orchestrated by the Kremlin. .
Following the failure of all three rounds of talks between Moscow and the West this week – bilaterally with the United States, in Geneva (Monday), at the NATO-Russia Council (Wednesday) and at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) On Thursday, Sergei Ryakhkov threatened that Moscow could deploy „military infrastructure” in Cuba and Venezuela.
In order to ease its relations with the West, Russia wants guarantees from the West regarding a cessation of NATO enlargement, especially to Ukraine, and the cessation of all military activity in Eastern European countries.
Read also: “We are prepared for any scenario” in the conflict with Russia. The United States will respond firmly to any aggression if negotiations fail
Moscow mobilizes troops in bases in the Far East
Moscow announced on Friday an unforeseen inspection of the combat readiness of its troops in the Far East and said that they will practice mobilization in remote military bases in Russia for training.
“The exercises will assess the readiness of the troops to carry out the necessary missions after long-range regroupings along the Russian territory,” the Ministry of Defense explained.
Open-source intelligence analysts have been seeing images of heavy Russian military equipment, including the train, being carried on social media for weeks.
Russia has said it is free to decide where to move its troops and that there are no external threats.
Read also: French Foreign Minister: “Europeans do not want a new Yalta in Europe and are negotiating to defend their own security interests”
Editor: Marco Badea