Washington Makes Written Response to Moscow Security Proposal; Lavrov Insists to Duma, It Must Be ‘Constructive’
Jan. 26, 2022 (EIRNS)—United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced this afternoon that the U.S. has delivered a written response to Russia’s Foreign Ministry, regarding their written proposal on security concerns to avoid confrontations. Blinken had previously requested Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov not to make the response public.
Earlier on Jan. 26, Lavrov had briefed the Russian Duma: “In case of a response that is not constructive, and the West continuing its aggressive policy, Moscow, as President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly stated, will respond as needed. In any case, we want to make clear to everyone that the security of Russia and its citizens is a top priority, and it will be reliably ensured under any circumstances,” he was quoted by the Ministry as saying. He acknowledged that Secretary Blinken had requested that the U.S. response not be made public, reported TASS:
“If that’s how they will approach everything that’s happening, we will probably be unable to publish the U.S. document. But the meaning of their reaction, the essence of their reaction, of course deserves to be made available to the public in Russia and other countries. I’m sure we’ll be able to do it.” He said on the fact that it is expected this week, “There are reasons to believe that they won’t let us down this time and will keep their word.”
In a media release at 20:16, Moscow time, the Russian Foreign Ministry acknowledged receiving the response from the U.S. on its Russian-language page, reading: “On January 26, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Alexander V. Grushko received U.S. Ambassador to Moscow John Sullivan at his request. During the meeting, the head of the American diplomatic mission handed over the written response of the U.S. Administration to the draft bilateral treaty on security guarantees previously submitted by the Russian side.”
At his press briefing in Washington, Blinken did characterize his request to not disclose the contents of the letter by explaining, “diplomacy has the best chance to succeed when we provide space for confidential talks.” He went on to describe the response as setting “out a serious diplomatic path forward should Russia choose it.” But otherwise, the U.S. follows the “deterrence” path.
Blinken said that the U.S. statement included “reciprocal transparency measures regarding force posture in Ukraine, as well as measures to increase confidence regarding military exercises and maneuvers in Europe.” Reference was also made to “arms control related to missiles in Europe” and “a follow-on agreement to the START Treaty that covers all nuclear weapons.” Blinken issued his disclaimer: “It reiterates publicly what we’ve said for many weeks.”