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Russian Foreign Ministry Lays Out Terms for ‘Serious Dialogue’ with U.S. and the West on Security Guarantees

Dec. 11, 2021 (EIRNS)—In a statement issued yesterday, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that it intends soon to present a “comprehensive proposal on legal security guarantees as part of preparations for the next round of the Russia-U.S. dialogue on strategic stability.” Coming off the Dec. 7 online meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, in which Putin insisted that the U.S. provide Russia with security guarantees regarding Ukraine and NATO, the statement continues that “we will advocate holding an in-depth discussion of the military aspects of ensuring security via defense ministries with the engagement of the foreign ministries of Russia and NATO countries.” It stated that Biden had indicated a readiness to hold a “serious dialogue on issues related to ensuring the security of the Russian Federation,” and that such a dialogue is “urgently needed today when the relations between Russia and the collective West continue to decay and have approached a critical line.” And, it emphasized, that since “numerous loose interpretations of our position have emerged in recent days,” it is time to clarify exactly where Russia stands on these key issues, the first of which is that “escalating a confrontation with our country is absolutely unacceptable.” The document also stresses that legal guarantees from the West must be made “within a specific timeframe.”

The statement goes on to enumerate the many provocative actions taken by the West regarding Ukraine over the last several years including undermining the Minsk agreements and “preparing for a military scenario in Donbas.” Instead of reining in their Ukrainian protégés, the statement points out, “NATO countries are pushing Kiev towards aggressive steps,” with an increasing number of unplanned military exercises by the U.S. and its allies in the Black Sea and provocative flights by NATO members’ aircraft, including strategic bombers in close proximity to Russia’s borders. “The militarization of Ukraine’s territory and pumping it with weapons are ongoing.” Moreover, the Foreign Ministry warns, Ukraine is being drawn into NATO, “which is fraught with the deployment of strike missile systems there with a minimal flight time to Central Russia, and other destabilizing weapons. Such irresponsible behavior creates grave military risks for all parties involved, up to and including a large-scale conflict in Europe.”

The Foreign Ministry documents the fact that discussion of Ukraine’s “hypothetical NATO membership” is a violation of a series of agreements signed by Western nations over the past several years regarding the principle of indivisible security in the Euro-Atlantic, and violates as well “the promises given to the Soviet leaders.” The Charter for European Security adopted at the OSCE Istanbul summit stressed that the participating states “will not strengthen their security at the expense of the security of other states.” Yet, the Foreign Ministry states, “NATO has been persistently moving eastwards all these years while neglecting Moscow’s concerns.” Moreover, each new member adds to “NATO’s anti-Russia charge.”

This is the context in which President Putin is insisting that “serious long-term legal guarantees be provided” to the Russian Federation, “which would exclude NATO’s further advancement to the east and deployment of weapons on Russia’s western borders which are a threat to Russia.” The document stresses: “this must be done within a specific timeframe and on the basis of the principle of comprehensive and indivisible security.” And, “to ensure the vital interests of European security, it is necessary to officially disavow the decision taken at the 2008 NATO summit in Bucharest about ‘Ukraine and Georgia becoming NATO members’ as contrary to the commitment undertaken by all the OSCE participating States ‘not to strengthen their security at the expense of the security of other States.’ ”

Other specific demands include the adoption of a “legally-binding agreement regarding the U.S. and other NATO member countries’ non-deployment of strike weapons systems which threaten the territory of the Russian Federation on the territories of adjacent countries, both members and non-members of NATO,” and insists on getting a “concrete response from NATO to our previous proposals on decreasing tension in Europe,” and announces that “Russia will shortly present draft international legal documents in the indicated areas to launch talks in respective formats.”

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