Russia received a written response from the West to its proposals on security guarantees, which were forwarded in December 2021. According to the country’s President, Vladimir Putin, commenting on the US’ response, the West has basically ignored the Kremlin’s proposals and failed to satisfy three key ones of them.
“We did not see our three key demands adequately considered: stopping NATO’s expansion, refusing to use strike weapons systems near Russian borders, and returning the bloc’s military infrastructure in Europe to how it was in 1997,” Putin stated.
The President added that the West ignored Russian security proposals under the pretext of defending its freedom to pick its own allies, which was only half the principle of indivisible security. Thus, according to the Helsinki Final Act of 1975, it was important to maintain the security of all participating parties, which included both Western nations and the USSR. However, nowadays the West is trying to “forget” about the key principle of indivisible security.
“I’ve informed Antony Blinken that we will not allow this topic to be brushed under the carpet. We will insist on honest talks and a genuine explanation of why the West seems not to want to fulfil its obligations, or only to fulfil them to its own advantage,” the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, emphasized.
The Minister said that the US gave a negative response to Moscow’s demand to follow this principle. Lavrov highlighted that the agreements on indivisible security reached during the OSCE summit in 1999 and in 2010 included not only freedom of alliances – they also forbade a nation to increase its own security at the expense of other countries’ security.
“We want to receive a clear answer to the question, how our partners understand their obligation not to strengthen their own security at the expense of the security of other states,” Lavrov said.
This issue was also raised by Vladimir Putin who said that the possibility of Ukraine joining NATO poses a threat to European security by creating the grounds for a major conflict between Russia and the military bloc. Such a situation can boost Ukraine’s decisiveness to try to return the Crimea by military means, which, in turn, will force Russia to step up for its territory and thus, a war may start.
Text is Revealed: US’ Response to Russia’s Security Guarantees
According to documents allegedly leaked to the Spanish daily El Pais, and published on Wednesday morning, February 2, the US and NATO have formally rejected Russia’s key demands regarding non-expansion of the military bloc eastward and broader European security guarantees.
NATO’s response contains four pages of text and the US’ response contains five pages. They include such repeatedly publicly expressed proposals of the Alliance as the resumption of the work of representative offices in Brussels and Moscow to facilitate dialogue, the full use of existing military communication channels to promote transparency and reduce risks, and work on Russia’s proposal to create a telephone hotline “to maintain urgent contacts.”
The drafters of the NATO response note that they are not ready for compromises on issues of principle for the alliance, such as the policy of “open doors”. Also, NATO is not ready for initiatives that could reduce the ability of the alliance to protect its member countries.
The US’ response says that Russia’s further buildup of its military forces or aggression against Ukraine will lead to similar steps by the US and its allies. It notes that the US and NATO continued to refrain from “additional permanent deployment of significant combat forces,” as well as from the deployment of nuclear weapons in Eastern European countries.
Russia’s State Duma Called West’s Response ‘Impudent’
According to the First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs, Vyacheslav Nikonov, the response of the US and NATO to Russian proposals on security guarantees does not look diplomatic and constructive.
“The general impression is, of course, an impudent answer. There are so many accusations against Russia, which, to be honest, I have not seen in such a concentrated form for a long time. That is, all the problems that exist in the world and are caused by the US and its allies, are simply shifted to Russia automatically,” Nikonov said.
Nikonov also noted that the US requires Russia to adhere to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE Treaty), which has not been ratified by any NATO country and from which Moscow withdrew due to its inefficiency.
“This requirement is, of course, unprecedented […] And, of course, behind all this, there is the main idea – all this is possible provided that Russia de-escalates the situation in Ukraine, although we do not escalate it there at all. Unacceptable conditions are being put forward in advance to start these negotiations,” Nikonov stressed.
The parliamentarian assumed that if Moscow continues to insist that the Russian proposals are important to be taken as one package, “then in this sense there is certainly no basis for negotiations,” though if Russia finds it possible to discuss separate, non-central issues from the published documents, then a subject for negotiations can be found.
Source: Sputnik, Interfax