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Russia to Take Hardline Approach in Defending National Interests at Talks With US, FM Lavrov Says

© Sputnik / Ramil Sitdikov / Go to the photo bankA soldier at the Russian Army Festival in Moscow.
A soldier at the Russian Army Festival in Moscow. - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.12.2021
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia will firmly defend its national interests at the upcoming security talks with the United States and NATO in January, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday, vowing not to make any unilateral concessions without taking the balance of interest into account.

"We are now preparing to firmly and effectively pursue the agenda of defending our interests and refusing to make concessions that would be unilateral and that would not take into account the balance of interests. This is what we are proceeding from now when we are getting ready for the negotiations, first of all, with the United States", Lavrov said at the first meeting of the party United Russia's commission for international cooperation and support of compatriots abroad.

The US and Russia will hold talks on arms control and the situation in Ukraine on 10 January. The negotiations on security guarantees with NATO are expected to take place on 12 January in Geneva, Switzerland.
Last week, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced an initiative to hold talks with Russia on 12 January. Shortly after the announcement, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told Sputnik that the main issue to be raised at the talks would be security proposals for NATO laid out by Russia, including non-expansion of the alliance into Eastern Europe.
© Sputnik / Vladimir TrefilovRussian and NATO flags
Russian and NATO flags - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.12.2021
Russian and NATO flags
Relations between NATO and Russia have deteriorated over the West's accusations that Moscow is planning to invade Ukraine. Moscow has repeatedly denied the allegations, saying that troop movements are purely defensive given NATO's increased military activity near Russia's borders, and stressed that it has the right to move forces within its own territory in its national security interests.
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