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EU Angry About Not Participating in Russia’s Security Guarantee Talks With US, NATO, Report Says

© Sputnik / Vladimir TrefilovRussia-US-NATO
Russia-US-NATO - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.01.2022
Last week, Vladimir Chizhov, Russia’s permanent representative to the EU, said that that the organisation is not a military bloc, which is why Moscow’s proposals on security guarantees are addressed to NATO.
The EU wants a role in the upcoming talks on security guarantees between Russia, NATO, and the US, the Financial Times (FT) has cited unnamed highly placed European sources as saying.

The sources voiced frustration about the way the negotiations, slated for next week in Geneva and Brussels, were arranged, “with Russian officials set to discuss the security of Ukraine and the whole European continent with counterparts from both Washington and the US-led military alliance”, according to FT.

“While US officials have remained in close contact with those in Brussels and in individual EU states, Washington has not sought to alter Moscow’s proposed negotiations [on security guarantees]”, the source argued.
The insiders also claimed that the sidelining reflected Brussels’ “internal disagreements over the EU’s own security policy”, arguing that “in the current context, [the delay] exposes the divisions inside the union and makes us less able to respond to Russia as one”.
The claims came after the EU’s Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrel asserted on Tuesday that Brussels “cannot be a neutral spectator in the negotiations” over Europe’s security architecture in the years to come.
This was preceded by Vladimir Chizhov, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the EU, telling reporters last week that the EU’s possible participation in the security guarantee talks would have “no definite added value”.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during his visit to Stockholm, Sweden - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.12.2021
First Round of Russia-US Talks on Security Guarantees Set for Early 2022, Lavrov Says
Chizhov stressed that Russia is “not against the EU’s supportive role” in NATO and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), but that Moscow “doesn’t plan to make the EU become a military bloc on the basis of our [security guarantee] proposals”.
Last week also saw a telephone conversation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Joe Biden, during which Putin, in particular, told the 46th American president that Moscow needs legally binding agreements on security guarantees, according to Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov.

The presidents also “agreed that negotiations on such an important issue [of security guarantees] for us and for Europe, in general, and the world will be held in three directions, that is, in Geneva, in Brussels through Russia-NATO [Council] and in Vienna through the OSCE. But, as it was noted, the parties will treat the bilateral negotiations with all seriousness, and the process of the Geneva talks will go under the personal supervision and under the personal control of the two presidents”, Ushakov told reporters.

Earlier, 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 spokeswoman also said that Moscow confirms an upcoming meeting of the Russia-NATO Council on 12 January and 13 January consultations between Russia and the OSCE.

Russia's Draft Accords on Security Guarantees

The draft agreements on security guarantees, which were released by the Russian Foreign Ministry earlier in December, 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 building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation in Moscow. - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.12.2021
Security Guarantees Proposals Handover to US is Step Towards Substantive Dialogue, Moscow
In line with the agreements, 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 a Kremlin plan to invade the country. Moscow has repeatedly denied the allegations, saying that Russian troop movements are purely defensive, given NATO's increased military activity near the country’s borders, and stressed that it has the right to move forces within its own territory at its own discretion.
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