Russia reveals if it will compromise on security guarantees
Russia will not water down its security proposals if the US and NATO similarly refuse to budge on key concerns, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has announced.
“If they insist that they won’t change their position, then we won’t change ours,” Lavrov told local radio stations on Friday. “It’s just that their position is based on false arguments, on clear distortion of facts, and our position is based on what we all signed. And I don’t see any possibility for compromise here. What is there to agree on, if they openly sabotage and distort the previous decisions? This will be a key test for us."
“I will say once more: they cannot evade the question of why they aren’t following what their presidents signed, agreeing that it is not permitted to strengthen one’s own security at the expense of the security of others.”
The two nations have been holding discussions meant to resolve the ongoing diplomatic standoff over Ukraine. Western leaders have accused Moscow of planning an imminent invasion of its neighbor, and have pointed to reports that over 100,000 Russian soldiers have gathered near its border with Ukraine. The Kremlin has repeatedly denied that it has any aggressive intentions, but it has threatened unspecified “military-technical measures” if its concerns are not addressed.
Russia sent a written list of security proposals to the US in December, requesting guarantees that NATO will not expand into Ukraine or Georgia, two countries that border Russia. Moscow also demanded that the American-led military bloc limit its activity in Eastern Europe, and the US withdraw nuclear weapons from the continent. Representatives from the two sides met for a series of discussions earlier this month to attempt to de-escalate the situation.
This week, Washington delivered its written response. The document was not made public, but Lavrov stated on Thursday that he was disappointed by the American refusal to make concessions. “The main issue is our clear position on the unacceptability of further NATO expansion to the East and the deployment of highly-destructive weapons that could threaten the territory of the Russian Federation,” he said.