US ready to negotiate with Russia on security – White House
A week after the Russian Foreign Ministry submitted a list of security proposals to the US and NATO, America has said it is willing to negotiate.
Washington is willing to talking to Russia about the list of security guarantees proposed by Moscow, and officials can sit down for discussions in January, the White House revealed on Thursday.
Last week, the Russian Foreign Ministry pitched a list of proposals to the US and NATO in the form of two draft treaties. The documents included a list of potential security guarantees, including a demand that NATO won’t expand eastward into states that were formerly a part of the USSR. Many in Russia believe that the country was misled by the alliance in the past, and its aim now is to get a legally binding agreement on paper.
Speaking to the press, an unnamed senior White House official explained that Washington is ready to open talks with Russian officials next year.
“The US is ready to engage in diplomacy as soon as early January through multiple channels,” the official explained. “Clearly, there are some things that have been proposed that we will never agree to, and I think the Russians probably know that on some level. We think there are other areas where we may be able to explore what’s possible.”
However, according to the White House, the US is not willing to negotiate publicly and wants to discuss any possible agreement with Russia behind closed doors.
“It does not strike us as constructive or [the] way that progress has been made in such diplomatic conversations in the past. We are not going to respond to every proposal or comment that is made, including from the Russian president,” the official said, before noting that Washington also has its “own concerns” to put on the table.
According to Russian presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov, a high-level meeting on security guarantees may be held next year in Geneva, where Moscow will be represented by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov.
In an interview with International Affairs magazine published on Thursday, Ryabkov said that Russia would not accept any preconditions from Washington before discussions on Moscow’s proposals.
“We would like the agreements that we put on paper to be formalized promptly so that they take the shape of contractual agreements,” he said.
Last week, the Russian Foreign Ministry published two draft documents with a list of security guarantees it wants to obtain from the US and NATO. The proposed treaties include restrictions on NATO expansion, as well as the stationing of troops, military equipment, and weapons in the vicinity of the Russian border.