Lavrov Briefs Media That the U.S. Gave ‘No Positive Response’ to Russia’s Demand for Security Guarantees
Jan. 27, 2022 (EIRNS)—In reply to a media question today, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov commented that the U.S. had offered “no positive response” to the Kremlin’s core demands for security guarantees made in December. “There is no positive response to the main issue, which is our clear stand on the continued NATO enlargement towards the east and the deployment of strike weapons that can pose a threat to the territory of the Russian Federation, which we consider unacceptable....” Lavrov explained in his remarks, which are posted to the Foreign Ministry website. “It is indicative that now when we propose coordinating legally binding security guarantees in the Euro-Atlantic region, our Western colleagues respond by urging us to respect the coordinated principles of security guarantees in that region. After saying this, they add that this means that NATO has a right to expand, and nobody can prohibit it from considering any country’s request for joining the alliance.”
The minister began by acknowledging that Russia had been requested to keep the content of the U.S. response confidential, and went on to say, “As for the essence of the document, the responses offer grounds for serious talks only on matters of secondary importance.”
The Foreign Minister further stated that “We will now focus on getting clarity regarding this hypocritical position of our Western partners” that it is ostensibly impossible to guarantee NATO’s non-expansion. “[P]recisely in 1990, when Germany was reunified and the issue of European security was raised, they solemnly promised that NATO would not expand even an inch eastward beyond the Oder River. These facts are well known and have been included in many memoirs by British, U.S. and German officials. But now that this issue has become a matter of fierce debates, we have been told that the promises were only verbal. When we mentioned the memoirs, our Western partners responded that they were not serious and that their words were misinterpreted. They chose a rather immature way to explain the reckless expansion of the alliance.
“But now that we have cited the promises made not in word but in the form of documents signed by the leaders of all OSCE states, including the U.S. President (the 1999 Istanbul Declaration and the 2010 Astana Declaration), our Western partners have to find a way out of a very serious situation. The point is that both declarations set out the participating states’ commitment to the principle of indivisible security and their pledge to honor it without fail. This principle ... very clearly ... includes two interconnected approaches. The first is the freedom of states to choose military alliances. The second is the obligation not to strengthen their security at the expense of the security of other states. In other words, the freedom to choose security arrangements is conditioned by the pledge to respect the security interests of any other OSCE state, including the Russian Federation,” Lavrov continued.
“It is indicative that now when we propose coordinating legally binding security guarantees in the Euro-Atlantic region, our Western colleagues respond by urging us to respect the coordinated principles of security guarantees in that region. ... [T]his means that NATO has a right to expand, and nobody can prohibit it from considering any country’s request for joining the alliance. The principle according to which no state may strengthen their security at the expense of the security of other states is being deliberately ignored. Our Western partners make no mention of the Istanbul or the Astana declarations during the ongoing discussions on European security. They are keeping away from this matter. We cannot accept this,”
Lavrov continued his explanation, saying: “During my talks with Antony Blinken in Geneva, I asked him to explain why they regard the obligations made within the OSCE as a menu from which they are free to choose the dishes that taste good to them, and why they are disregarding or talking round their pledge to honor the interests of other countries. Mr. Blinken did not reply to my question. He only shrugged his shoulders, and that’s it. I told him, just as I have told our other colleagues, that we would shortly send them an official request for an explanation why they choose only one of their commitments and disregard the other commitments on which its implementation depends. It will be an official request sent to all countries whose leaders signed the Istanbul and Astana declarations. I hope that it will not take them long to explain the Western position.
“Other than that, we are analyzing the Americans’ response. As Antony Blinken has said, they have coordinated it with Ukraine and with the other Western countries, with U.S. allies. We have also received NATO’s response from Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. We are analyzing these two documents as a package, because they have been provided in response to the draft treaty and draft agreement we proposed in December 2021. After an inter-agency coordination of our conclusions, we will submit them to President Vladimir Putin, who will make a decision on our further actions,”
he concluded his reply to media.