Lavrov says NATO and US vowed to submit written responses to Moscow’s demands for ‘security guarantees’
The NATO secretary-general, as well as representatives of the United States, have promised to submit written responses to Moscow’s claims on “security guarantees”, the Russian RIA Novosti news agency quoted Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov as saying on Jan. 13.
“The Americans promised us to do their best, but we told them they have to make all efforts to submit their counter proposals next week,” the minister said.
“(Jens) Stoltenberg, the secretary-general of NATO, on behalf of the North Atlantic Alliance also volunteered to put his reaction on paper,” Lavrov said, adding that the “paper” will be submitted in about a week.
“After that, we will report together with the defense minister to the president,” he said.
The top official stressed that the Russia-U.S. negotiations held in Geneva on Jan. 10, as well as the Russia-NATO Council held in Brussels on Jan. 12, were business-like.
“The position of the West is quite tough, sometimes arrogant, uncompromising, (but) it was nevertheless stated calmly, in a businesslike manner, which makes it possible to count on the prospect of comprehending the negotiations held in Washington,” Lavrov said.
On Jan. 12, a NATO-Russia Council meeting was held with the involvement of representatives of Russia and the 30 member states of NATO. The talks stretched on for an hour longer than the three that had been initially allotted.
Over the course of the meeting, Russia reiterated its demands for “security guarantees,” including on NATO’s non-expansion to the east.
In turn, the alliance reaffirmed NATO’s Open Door policy and the right of each nation to choose its own security arrangements.
“No one else has anything to say, and of course Russia does not have a veto (on states joining NATO),” Stoltenberg said at a press conference following the crisis talks.
Other talks with Russia also took place in Europe this week.
The United States and Russia held a round of crisis talks in Geneva, Switzerland on Jan. 10, and a round of talks took place at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Permanent Council meeting in Vienna on Jan. 13 – this time with the involvement of Ukrainian representatives.
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