U.S.-Russian Talks Set, but Russia Will Not Tolerate Conditions Imposed on Talks on Security Guarantees
Dec. 23, 2021 (EIRNS)—Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reported in his interview with RT yesterday that Russia will enter into talks with the U.S. on security guarantees early next year. He specified:
“It has been agreed that the first round early next year should be bilateral contact between the American negotiators and our own. They have been named, and they are acceptable to both parties. After that, we plan to use the negotiating platform to discuss the second document—the draft Russia-NATO agreement—in the foreseeable future, preferably in January.”
Russia is ready to discuss American concerns, “but they have not yet presented them,” he remarked.
“After we coordinate organizational matters, there will be a lot of hard work on the essence. But, as President Putin has said, it cannot last forever, because the situation around us has been going from bad to worse in recent decades. NATO’s military infrastructure is approaching our border. We were deceived at every turn, starting with verbal promises and ending with the political commitments set down in the Russia-NATO Founding Act. This time, as President Putin has said, we want to see legally binding guarantees.... We will do our best to make our message loud and clear. I hope that this, together with our efforts to ensure a reliable defense capability, will convince our partners to take us seriously.”
What Moscow will not accept is the imposition of conditions on those talks, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov stated in an interview with the Foreign Ministry’s publication Mezhdunarodnaya Zhizn (International Affairs), excerpted this morning, reported TASS.
“We would like the agreements that we put on paper to be formalized promptly so that they take the shape of contractual agreements. If the U.S. demands we carry out some activities on our territory as a precondition, which will appeal to Washington and to other NATO capitals, or which the Americans would like to present as a precondition for future work at Kiev’s behest, this won’t do,”
he insisted. Ryabkov warned that if something of that sort happens, Russia will come to the conclusion that the U.S. “lacks political will to make agreements” and is taking advantage of these developments “to cover up its ongoing policy aimed at using the territory of Ukraine and other countries for military purposes against Russia.”
“This is what made us put forward these proposals,” he explained, referring to the draft treaties involving the U.S. and NATO, delivered on Dec. 15 and published on Dec. 17. “Under these circumstances, the responsibility for future tensions—and they seem inevitable in such a situation—will be shouldered by the Americans and U.S. allies.”