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Deluded Blinken Tries Dictating Terms to Russia, but Lavrov Rejects Bullying, Insists U.S. Address Security Guarantees Treaty

Jan. 21, 2022 (EIRNS)—All signs indicate that Secretary of State Tony Blinken went into today’s meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov with no intention of having a serious dialogue, but instead wielded the same worn polemics he has used for months: that Russia’s troop buildup on Ukraine’s border indicates its intention to invade; and should it do so, it will be met with unprecedented sanctions and the might of the NATO alliance, against which it will have no defense. The way forward, as he described it, is for Russia to accept U.S. terms—withdraw its troops—from inside its own borders!—accept the fact that Ukraine can join NATO if it wants to, and stop insisting on the principle of indivisibility of security or the obligation of countries not to strengthen their own security at the expense of others. If Russia complies, he intoned, that will show that it has decided not to be aggressive. But, the onus is on Russia. It will have to take action, because it is the aggressor. NATO and the West will just sit tight to judge Russia’s sincerity. Pure arrogance.

It’s revealing that while Lavrov said that Blinken had called him to set up the meeting, Blinken admitted to ABC that Joe Biden had told him to meet with Lavrov. Blinken showed willful disregard for Russia’s security concerns, saying in his post-meeting press conference that the U.S. and its European allies and partners “are prepared to pursue possible means of addressing them in a spirit of reciprocity, which means, simply put, that Russia must also address our concerns.” It is after all, Blinken said, Russia that is threatening peace and security not only in Ukraine, but in Europe and “indeed in the world.” He also warned that even if Russia didn’t invade Ukraine militarily, the West was aware of other methods that Russia uses, such as hybrid warfare, cyberattacks, paramilitaries, etc. to threaten Ukraine’s sovereignty. These actions will “also be met with a decisive, united response,” Blinken vowed. “I made clear to Minister Lavrov that there are certain principles that the U.S., our partners and allies, are committed to defend. That includes those that would impede the sovereign right of the Ukrainian people to write their own future. There is no trade-space there—none,” he proclaimed.

Referencing Blinken’s remark that he didn’t expect any breakthrough at the meeting, Lavrov stated that he didn’t expect a breakthrough either. “What we expect is concrete answers to our concrete proposals in the vein and in compliance with the obligations that were adopted at the highest level within the OSCE. I’m referring particularly to the principle of indivisibility of security, as well as the obligation of countries not to strengthen their own security at the expense of the security of others.” But as Russia’s Foreign Ministry stated this afternoon, “it was made clear to Antony Blinken that further ignoring Russia’s legal concerns, first of all, those linked with the United States’ and its NATO allies’ advance in Ukraine amid the large-scale deployment of the alliance’s forces and weapons near our border, will have the most serious consequences.” And, it continued, “it can be avoided if Washington positively responds to our draft agreements on security guarantees. We expect to receive the American side’s written article-by-article response next week.” Lavrov said that once he receives the written response to all points of Russia’s proposals on guarantees of security, he will know better “whether we are on the right track.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry also stated that there were no plans at all for another meeting with Blinken, despite Blinken’s statements to the contrary, TASS reported. “No plans, dates or even discussions relating to [a new meeting between Lavrov and Blinken] have been reported. We are waiting for the written response [to Moscow’s proposals] from the U.S. side. We have no idea where the media got this [information],” the Foreign Ministry said. Earlier, media reports started circulating that another meeting would take place in February.

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