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Senior Russian Diplomat Says Relations to U.S. Are Characterized by ‘One Sided Negative Predictability’

Dec. 14, 2021 (EIRNS)—In a Dec. 13 interview with Izvestia, whose transcript is posted on the Russian Foreign Ministry website, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov described Russian relations with the U.S. as characterized by “one-sided negative predictability.” This is the result, he said, of “the U.S. tendency, by and large, to deny Russia the role of a major independent player in international relations while trying to impose its own approaches to a whole range of issues, including how we should live in our own country.”

In Ryabkov’s view, the tension over Ukraine “is primarily Washington’s geopolitical project, an attempt to expand its sphere of influence by getting new instruments for strengthening its positions, which Washington hopes will eventually allow it to dominate this region,” he said. “It is also a way of creating problems for us by endangering our security. We have openly pointed out that there are red lines which we will not allow anyone to cross, and we also have certain requirements, which have been formulated exceedingly clearly.”

Later in the interview, Ryabkov called NATO expansion one of the biggest problems in the Euro-Atlantic region. “NATO’s unrestrained expansion over the past decades has shown that Western advances, promises, and commitments are of little value unless they are legally formalized. Soviet and later Russian leaders were told by responsible officials that NATO would not expand eastwards,” he said. “We see that the situation is diametrically opposite.”

“I would like to point out that the freedom to join alliances cannot be absolute,” Ryabkov went on in reference to NATO’s Open Door policy. “It is as it is in human societies, your freedom ends where the freedom of others begins. There must be clear boundaries and mutual obligations and responsibilities. This is why the phrase about the freedom to join alliances is always balanced by the phrase that this must not be done at the expense of the security of other states.”

“NATO’s expansion has long come into a dramatic conflict with this principle,” Ryabkov said. “We will continue to tell our opponents, both NATO states and the non-members, which would like to join the alliance, that it is impossible to do both things simultaneously. Therefore, there should be no further expansion of NATO.”

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