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Russia: US Attempts to Use Security Guarantee Talks as Cover to Arm Ukraine Will Worsen Situation

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On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov revealed that the first round of Moscow-Washington talks on security guarantees is due to be held in early 2022.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has said that Washington's attempts to use the dialogue with Russia on security guarantees as a cover for the further military development of Ukraine will lead to an inevitable deterioration of the situation, and the responsibility for this will fall entirely on the US and NATO.
"We want to quickly formalise those agreements that we have put on paper […]. If a precondition on the American side is the requirement that we carry out certain measures on our own territory that Washington and other NATO capitals will 'like', or that, under dictation of Kiev, the Americans want to put forward as a requirement for us, as a condition for the continuation of further work then it will not work", Ryabkov said in an interview with the magazine International Affairs on Thursday.
In this case, Russia will conclude that the US does not have the political will to negotiate, "that everything that happens is used as a cover for continuing the same policy of militarily developing Ukraine and other states for anti-Russian purposes", according to the Russian deputy foreign minister.
"This is exactly what prompted us to put forward our proposals [on security guarantees]. And in this situation, the responsibility for further deterioration (and in such a situation it will simply become inevitable) […] will fall on the American side and on US allies", Ryabkov pointed out.
The Russian diplomat also said that Moscow had sent Washington its proposals regarding the timing of the start of the security guarantee talks.
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"Concrete steps should follow the discussions, [and] conversations. Therefore, we are still awaiting a concrete response from the US side when it is ready to launch a bilateral dialogue with us. Our proposals, including on the timing of launching such a dialogue, were made to the US side", Ryabkov noted.
Moscow has repeatedly said that it is ready to immediately engage in this dialogue, the diplomat recalled.

Lavrov Says Security Guarantee Talks Slated for Early Next Year

The remarks come after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told RT that the first round of security guarantee talks between Russia and the US is set to take place in January.
"[…] We plan to use the negotiating platform to discuss the second document - the draft agreement between Russia and NATO countries [on security guarantees]", Lavrov said, adding that Moscow also intends to raise the issue of security guarantees with the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Russia's Draft Agreements on Security Guarantees

The draft agreements on security guarantees, which were released by the Russian Foreign Ministry last week, stipulate legally binding commitments by Moscow and Washington not to deploy weapons and forces in areas where they may be a threat to each other's national security.
The draft agreements also envisage both sides not sending their ships or aircraft within striking distance of the other party. Additionally, the documents limit the deployment of intermediate and short-range missiles, and suggest that nuclear weapons already deployed are expected to be returned to their country of origin.
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Russia Slams US for 'Distorting Reality' by Blaming Moscow for Ukraine Escalation
Moscow also demanded that NATO stop its eastward expansion towards Russia's borders and avoid inviting post-Soviet countries into the alliance, or creating military bases on their territory.
This comes as Kiev and several Western countries continue to accuse Moscow of amassing troops near Russia's border with Ukraine. Moscow, for its part, rejected the accusations and alleged that the West wants to use them as an excuse to deploy NATO military equipment near the Russian border.
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