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Kremlin: Russia refrains from ‘threats and ultimatums’ in view of talks with US, NATO

MOSCOW, January 12. /TASS/. Moscow, unlike officials in Washington DC, does not want to ‘spout threats and ultimatums’ in view of its current security talks with the United States and NATO, and prefers to voice its opinion after the negotiations are over, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.

“Unlike American officials, we would rather not be spouting threats, ultimatums and predicting a high price, which someone might pay…,” Peskov said. “In terms of the negotiations, we are holding them in a cultured manner, we are open to dialogue and our diplomats maintained diplomatic traditions despite the rough situation.”

“We prefer having talks in the first place and only then to voice our evaluations and predictions,” he added.

Peskov also said, however, that NATO’s continuing ‘open doors policy’ and the alliance’s expansion towards the state borders of Russia pose a threat to the country.

“This is exactly what we want to put a stop to, asking for legally binding guarantees,” he noted.

The negotiations between Moscow and Washington dedicated to Russia’s proposed security guarantees concluded on January 10 in Geneva. On January 12, Russia discusses its security concerns in Europe, as well as its drafts on security assurances at a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council in Brussels, and on January 13 at the Vienna session of the OSCE Permanent Council.

On December 17, 2021, the Russian Foreign Ministry published the draft agreements between Russia and the US on security guarantees and the measures of ensuring the security of Russia and NATO member states.

NATO ready to hear

As NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and US Representative to NATO Julianne Smith said earlier, the Western-led bloc is ready to hear Russia’s concerns and is ready to begin an open and reasonable dialogue but is not ready for compromises, especially on the issues of its expansion.

Moscow’s security demands are addressed to the United States and European nations. Moscow has not sent them to such international organizations as the European Union (EU) and NATO. In a broad outline, Russia’s stance boils down to three key points: the pullout of US nuclear weapons from Europe, the termination of the practice of deploying NATO’s conventional forces near Russia’s borders and creating its military infrastructure there and NATO’s official refusal to draw Ukraine and Georgia into the alliance.

In Moscow’s opinion, these measures will help remedy a serious imbalance in security in Europe that emerged after the break-up of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. This will help considerably ease the military and political tension and rejoin the baseline principle affirmed by all of the OSCE member states at their Istanbul summit in 1999 that the security of one state or a group of states cannot be ensured at the expense of the security of other states.

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