Russia receives US response to security proposals
Moscow has been handed the American response to its earlier proposals concerning collective security in Europe, the Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed on Wednesday evening.
US ambassador John Sullivan delivered the feedback from both Washington and NATO on the Russian draft bilateral treaty made public in mid-December. Moscow proposed eight points in the draft, and expected a detailed reply to each one.
The US was asked to stop any further NATO expansion to the east, halt military programs in non-member countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Union – and pledge Ukraine and Georgia would “never” join the bloc – remove its nuclear weapons from Europe, and not deploy any offensive weapons capable of targeting Russia along its borders. Moscow demanded legally binding guarantees on all of those matters.
The State Department has reportedly asked Russia not to make its response public. Speaking at the Russian parliament earlier on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the ministry would communicate the “essence of their reaction” to the Russian public.
Lavrov explained that once the American response was received, the Foreign Ministry would work with other departments to give President Vladimir Putin a proposal of further steps concerning Russia’s security.