Tue. Jan 18th, 2022

Lavrov says Moscow will “eliminate unacceptable threats” if Washington and NATO fail to respond to its security demands.

Russia will move to eliminate “unacceptable threats” if the United States and NATO do not respond to the Kremlin’s security demands, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned. top level talks between the competing forces.

Lavrov told Russia’s state-run Ria Novosti news agency on Friday that the Foreign Ministry would not allow it. the proposals to be rolled up in “endless talks” while tensions simmer between Moscow and Western powers over Ukraine, where fears of a possible Russian invasion has risen in recent months, augmented by Moscow’s deployment of tens of thousands of troops along the two countries’ shared border.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his American counterpart Joe Biden spoken by telephone for nearly an hour on Thursday, their second conversation this month, ahead of lower-level face-to-face negotiations in Geneva in January between senior officials.

Among Russia’s wish list of requests, many of which are seen as non-beginners in the West, is a demand that NATO, led by the NATO Transatlantic Security Alliance, promise to give up any military activity in Eastern Europe and Ukraine.

The Kremlin says NATO’s expansion eastward and Kyiv’s growing ties with the body have undermined security in the region. Moscow claims that such developments threaten Russia, run counter to assurances given to it when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, and compare to the 1962 Cuban missile crisis when the world came to the brink of nuclear war.

Lavrov said Moscow would “take all necessary measures to ensure a strategic balance” if its concerns were ignored.

Biden-Putin talks

During Thursday’s talks, requested by Russia, Biden and Putin exchanged warnings about Ukraine, but shared hope that January talks tension can relieve.

Biden said he should see Russia reduce its military build-up near Ukraine, while Putin has warned the West against significant sanctions, saying such a move could break ties.

Russia denies this is plans to attack Ukraine and says it has the right to move troops to its land.

“President Biden has reiterated that substantial progress in these dialogues can only take place in an environment of de-escalation rather than escalation,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.

Kremlin assistant Yuri Ushakov said the call created a “good backdrop” for future talks.

January safety meeting

Despite the talk of diplomacy, none of the countries has made significant progress towards a resolution or its outlines. new security agreement.

“Both leaders have acknowledged that there are likely to be areas where we can make significant progress, as well as areas where agreements may be impossible and that the forthcoming talks will more precisely determine the contours of each of those categories,” an unnamed senior White House said. official told Reuters news agency.

According to the Kremlin, Biden apparently agreed that Moscow needed certain security guarantees and said he did not intend to deploy offensive weapons in Ukraine.

The White House did not immediately comment on the characterization of Biden’s Kremlin remarks.

The US has led the charge to raise alarm over Russian troop movements near Ukraine, following a previous deployment of forces by Moscow earlier this year.

Washington and its Western allies say Moscow has amassed up to 100,000 troops ahead of a possible winter invasion of its neighbor, seven years after it seized the Crimean peninsula in 2014.

Shortly after the annexation, Russia supported a separatist rebellion in eastern Ukraine. The conflict in Ukraine’s industrial heartland, known as the Donbas, has so far killed more than 14,000 people, according to Kiev.

Following talks between senior officials in Switzerland next month, the Russia-NATO Council will meet in Brussels on 12 January. A day later, negotiations are expected to take place at the Organization for Security and Cooperation (OSCE) in Europe in Vienna.

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