- “On Friday, the Kremlin expects the United States to respond to Moscow’s request for security guarantees that would prevent NATO’s expansion into Ukraine,” the Kremlin said.
- Russia has denied any plans to attack but has declared a “red line” in Ukraine for NATO expansion and weapon deployment.
The Kremlin stated “on Friday that it expects the US to respond to Moscow’s request for security guarantees that would prevent NATO’s expansion into Ukraine next month.
On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin urged the West to “immediately” comply with Russia’s demand, accusing the US and its allies of maintaining a military presence “on the doorstep of our home.”
Last week, Moscow submitted draught security documents demanding that Ukraine and other former Soviet republics be denied NATO membership. The alliance’s military deployments in Central and Eastern Europe were reduced.
During a conference call with journalists on Friday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, “We expect our opponents in Washington to provide specific answers to our proposals in January to discuss de-escalation.”
Moscow made its demand as tensions over a Russian troop buildup near Ukraine have risen, raising fears of an invasion.
In a video call with Putin earlier this month, US President Joe Biden warned that it will face “severe consequences if Russia attacks Ukraine.”
Russia has denied any plans to attack but has declared a “red line” in Ukraine for NATO expansion and weapon deployment.
During his marathon annual news conference on Thursday, Putin called the upcoming US-Russia talks in Geneva next month a “positive” step but warned that Moscow does not expect the talks to yield quick results.
On the other hand, the US and its allies have stated that they will not provide Russia with the kind of guarantees that Putin seeks in Ukraine. NATO’s central tenet is that membership is open to any country that meets certain criteria.
In advance of the Geneva talks, American officials confer with European allies.
Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s foreign minister, said that his country must be included in any NATO security talks with Russia.
On Twitter, Kuleba wrote, “Because Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic security is at stake, Ukraine should be included in security consultations on the matter.” “We support the idea of the US, EU, and NATO talking to Russia as long as the primary topic is ending the international armed conflict, Russia’s war on Ukraine.”
Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, dismissed Western concerns about Russian troop concentrations near Ukraine, saying that Russia has the right to deploy its military wherever it sees fit on its soil.
He portrayed the recent uprisings as a defensive response to Western provocations.
“It causes us great concern and forces us to take certain measures to ensure our security,” he continued.
“Russia does whatever it wants with its troops on its ground. We can’t allow anyone to question our sovereign authority, “According to Peskov. “In light of unfriendly moves by our opponents from NATO – the United States and some European countries – who have conducted unambiguous maneuvers near our borders, conducted reconnaissance flights, and deployed warships, Russia takes certain actions to move and redeploy its armed forces on its territory.”
In 2014, Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and soon after backed a separatist rebellion in the country’s east.
Over 14,000 people have been killed in the conflict, which began more than seven years ago and has devastated Ukraine’s industrial heartland, known as the Donbas.
Source: CTV News
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