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2 Feb, 2022 11:01

Russia & US commit to further talks on security guarantees

Continued engagement from both sides will allow room for serious discussion, but situation appears to be a stalemate
Russia & US commit to further talks on security guarantees

Washington is willing to continue diplomatic discussions with Russia over mutual security concerns, the US State Department revealed on Tuesday, following a phone call between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

The discussion comes as tensions between Russia and the West continue to remain high, with Moscow accused of placing over 100,000 troops on the border with Ukraine. The buildup has triggered a response from multiple NATO members, with many sending weapons and promising financial aid.

The exchange, initiated by the Americans, was aimed at following up Washington’s formal written response to key security proposals made by the Kremlin last December. The draft document included a long list of guarantees aimed at boosting stability in Europe, such as the demand that Kiev be barred from joining NATO, and a reduction in military activity by bloc members on the Ukraine-Russia border.

Last month, the US sent a counter-offer to Moscow, which is currently being considered by the Russian government.

During the discussion, Blinken reiterated America’s support for Ukraine and recognition of the country’s territorial integrity, while calling for Russia to de-escalate and remove its troops and weaponry from the border.

Russia has repeatedly denied that it plans to invade Ukraine, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stating that Moscow has the right to move its troops inside its own territory, and that this should be of no concern to any other nation.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, Lavrov and Blinken agreed that there is potential for further serious discussion, despite America’s instance that some of Moscow’s proposals are “non-starters.” In a press release, the ministry also noted that a mutual effort would be made to “remove irritants” blocking the work of Russian diplomats in the US.

A further call has been scheduled to take place in the near future, once the Russian government has formally replied to the US response to Moscow’s security proposals.