Thursday, January 27, 2022

Lavrov: US Did Not Respond to Question on Non-Expansion of NATO - Tasnim News Agency

(Tasnim) – The United States, in its response to Russia’s proposals on security guarantees, left the main question about non-expansion of NATO to the east unanswered, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday.

"There is no positive reaction on the main issue in this document. The main issue is our clear position that further NATO expansion to the east and the deployment of strike weapons that could threaten the territory of the Russian Federation are unacceptable," Lavrov told reporters.

Lavrov also said that Russia is reviewing the US response, Sputnik reported.

"The content of the document - there is a reaction that allows us to count on the start of a serious conversation, but on secondary issues," Lavrov added.

The content of the United States’ response to Russian proposals on security guarantees will be known soon, the Russian top diplomat said.

"As for the content of the response, I think it will become known to the general public in the very near future, because, as our American colleagues told us, although they prefer the document to remain for a confidential diplomatic dialogue, it has been agreed with all US allies and with the Ukrainian side. Therefore, I have no doubt that in the very near future it will ‘leak," Lavrov told reporters.

He also stressed that Moscow is considering the US and NATO responses on security guarantees as a whole.

According to Lavrov, the United States deliberately aims to avoid discussing the need to follow the principle of indivisibility of security, and Russia is not ready to accept this.

"The principle that one should not strengthen one's security at the expense of the security of others is deliberately avoided. Neither the Istanbul nor the Astana declarations are mentioned by our Western partners in the discussions on European security that are currently taking place … We cannot accept this," Lavrov said.

The minister added that Russia will soon send an official request to the US and NATO and ask why they regard provisions of the principle of indivisibility of security separately from each other.

Russia's next step after receiving the responses of the United States and NATO to its European security proposals will be determined by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Lavrov said.

"After an interdepartmental consultation, we will brief the president, and the president will decide on our next steps," the minister concluded.


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