Russia says there is no point in further discussing its demands for ‘security guarantees’ with US
Moscow sees no reason to hold another round of talks on “security guarantees” with the United States, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told Russian news agency Interfax on Jan. 13.
“We suggested methodically going over the text (of the agreement), working to persuade them (the United States) to sign (the agreement),” Ryabkov said.
“As of now this is impossible, since the United States and their allies are effectively saying ‘no’ to the key points of the (agreement's) text.”
Ryabkov said that those points on which the United States and NATO had agreed upon with Russia, “while significant and substantial, are of secondary importance.”
On Dec. 17, Russia issued demands for what it called “security guarantees” from the United States and NATO, including that Ukraine be forbidden from ever becoming a member of the alliance – all against the backdrop of a continuous buildup of Russian troops close to the Ukrainian border.
Following a Jan. 12 meeting of the NATO-Russia Council, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy R. Sherman expressed her bewilderment as to “why (Russia) would feel threatened by Ukraine,” given that, besides being one of the world’s major nuclear powers, Russia possesses the largest military in Europe.
After the meeting, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance would never compromise on its “open door” policy.
The situation on Ukraine's eastern border is a matter of deep concern for both U.S. and EU officials.
U.S. legislators unveiled a sweeping sanctions bill on Jan. 13 to be implemented in the case of a further Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Currently, over 100,000 Russian troops are estimated to be deployed on the Russian-Ukrainian border and in Russian-occupied Ukrainian territories, reports Ukrainian intelligence.
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