Russia says talks with US on security guarantees to start after Jan. 9

Diplomats, military officials will take part in consultations, says Foreign Minister Lavrov.

MOSCOW (AA) – Russia announced on Monday that talks with the US on Moscow’s demand for security guarantees will start on Jan. 9 after the New Year holidays.

Moscow is concerned about the terms of holding consultations and considers it unacceptable to delay the talks, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with SolovyovLife YouTube channel.

Both delegations are supposed to include representatives of diplomatic and military services, Lavrov said, with the list of participants to be announced soon.

Russia reiterates that talks without a “professional military” is senseless, he stressed, adding that Moscow shared this demand with Washington and is waiting a response from the US side.

Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin called on NATO to start talks aiming to provide Moscow with reliable, legally binding, and long-term security guarantees.

On Dec. 15, Yury Ushakov, Russian presidential advisor on foreign policy issues, announced that Russia handed the draft of its proposals to the US and NATO, and two days later, the Russian Foreign Ministry published the text of the draft agreements.

Russia holds the US, one of the key NATO members, as the principal negotiator on security talks.

The security guarantees, Lavrov said, will not prevent the US from violating the agreements in the future; however, written and legally binding documents will make the situation a little bit more certain, he asserted.

The top diplomat slammed the Western stance regarding Ukraine, pointing out that the Russian military stays on its own territory and does not move anywhere, while Ukraine “is being pumped” with the weapons.

“I do not rule out that there is a desire to fuel militaristic sentiments (in Ukraine), make a little war, then blame us, impose new sanctions to suppress our competitive opportunities,” he said.

Lavrov said Russia had a trustworthy relation with the West in the 1990s, but the unwillingness of the Western countries to have rivals of comparable influence in the international political arena led to the breakup.

For the same reason, he said, the US plans to create an organization based on the summit for democracies to implement plans without taking into account opposing views.

“This is a new attempt to move the decision-making center from universal structures to those in which there will be no disagreements and disputes,” he said.


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