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Russia Will Seek Firm Security Guarantees From US During Geneva Talks on 10 January

© Sputnik / Sergey Guneev / Go to the mediabankA view shows Mont-Blanc bridge decorated with flags of the USA and Russia ahead of the June 16 summit between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Geneva, Switzerland
A view shows Mont-Blanc bridge decorated with flags of the USA and Russia ahead of the June 16 summit between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Geneva, Switzerland - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.12.2021
Earlier on Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova confirmed that the Geneva talks between Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and US First Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman will be held on 10 January.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has stressed that Moscow will seek firm security guarantees from the US during upcoming bilateral talks in Geneva.
The ministry's spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters on Thursday that the talks are scheduled for 10 January , and that there are no alternatives to this date.
Members of the US Army 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, prepare Stryker Armored Vehicles at the railway station near the Rukla military base in Lithuania (file) - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.08.2021
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According to her, the Russian and US delegations will be led by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and First Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, respectively.
The agenda of the talks "naturally includes a discussion of the Russian draft documents submitted to the US - an agreement [...] on security guarantees and an accord on measures to ensure the security of the Russian Federation and NATO. In the course of these negotiations, we will seek to obtain firm security guarantees for Russia, namely, the non-advancement of NATO to the east and the non-deployment of weapons systems threatening Russia near its borders", Zakharova said.
The spokeswoman also said that Moscow confirms an upcoming meeting of the Russia-NATO Council on 12 January and the 13 January consultations between Russia and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
"As for the discussion of the draft international legal documents proposed by us on security guarantees […] it will take place within the framework of the high-level Russian-American dialogue in Geneva on 10 January, and then - at a meeting of the Russia-NATO Council on 12 January in Brussels, and on 12 January in Vienna at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council", she told a press briefing.
The remarks come after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday that Moscow will firmly defend its national interests at the upcoming Geneva talks, vowing not to make any unilateral concessions without taking the balance of interests into account.
Last week, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov warned 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 that the responsibility for this will fall entirely on the US and NATO.

Russia's Draft Agreements on Security Guarantees

The draft agreements on security guarantees, which were released by the Russian Foreign Ministry earlier in December, envisage 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 building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation in Moscow. - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.12.2021
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In line with the accords, 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.
The developments come as Kiev and several Western countries continue to accuse Moscow of amassing troops near Russia's border with Ukraine, which they claim allegedly indicates the Kremlin's plan to invade the country. 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 at its discretion.
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