Putin Calls for 'Persistent Efforts' to Get NATO & US to Provide Legal Security Guarantees to Russia
06:18 GMT 10.02.2022 (Updated: 16:49 GMT 08.01.2023)
Russia has been demanding that NATO and the United States take Moscow's security concerns into consideration, and has rolled out security proposals to the West that include legal guarantees that NATO will not be expanding eastwards or place offensive weapons in the countries which neighbour Russia.
Persisent efforts are needed to ensure that the US and NATO provide comprehensive legal guarantees of Russia's security, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his address marking Diplomat's Day.
The president pointed at the "turbulent and tense" situation in the world, that calls for additional efforts in responding to emerging threats and challenges. Aside from the need for legal security guarantees, Putin underlined the importance of the United Nations' role.
"Consistent, systematic work to strengthen the rule of international law and the central coordinating role of the UN to build a just and stable multipolar world order remains fully relevant," the president's address stressed.
Putin praised the work of the Russian Foreign Ministry in the field of protecting national security interests, pointing at how the efforts of Russian diplomats help to solve regional conflicts and crises while also broadening contacts between Moscow and different international partners from all continents.
The issue of Russian security concerns remains one of the most acute for the national diplomats, with their efforts to de-escalate tensions over Ukraine and reach an understanding on Moscow's security "red lines" still ongoing despite the West continuing to roll out accusations and threats of sanctions.
Over the past several weeks, the narrative of the alleged "Russian invasion of Ukraine" has been fuelled by Western diplomats and media outlets. According to the allegations, Russia is "amassing troops" on the border with Ukraine while plotting to "invade" the neighbouring country - claims that Moscow has dismissed numerous times as groundless provocations.
In December, Russia rolled out its security proposals to the West, making specific demands that NATO refrain from expanding eastwards or deploying offensive weapons in countries neighbouring Russia. The response from the US and NATO took a while; in the end they rejected Moscow's core demands.
The security negotiations are still far from over. Russia's permanent representative to the United Nations office in Geneva, Gennady Gatilov, has told Sputnik that Moscow is "morally and organisationally ready to hold new rounds if they are required", although it is unclear when Russia and the US will meet face-to-face in Geneva again.
© AP Photo / Alexander ZemlianichenkoA U.S flag waves on the car of U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan next to the main entrance to the Russian Foreign Ministry building during Sullivan's visit to the Ministry in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022. Sullivan delivered a U.S. response to the Russian demands for security guarantees over NATO and Ukraine.
A U.S flag waves on the car of U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan next to the main entrance to the Russian Foreign Ministry building during Sullivan's visit to the Ministry in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022. Sullivan delivered a U.S. response to the Russian demands for security guarantees over NATO and Ukraine.
© AP Photo / Alexander Zemlianichenko
Earlier in the week, French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Moscow to hold extensive talks with his Russian counterpart. The talks, according to Macron, were wrapped up with the two sides managing to find common ground concerning Ukraine. Later, on 15 February, Putin is also expected to hold talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on the situation around Ukraine.
While many observers (both from Russia and from the West) have praised the efforts by Macron and Scholz to engage in the de-escalation of tensions, there was less enthusiasm from Washington. According to NBC News, US President Joe Biden has already taken jabs at his EU allies for trying to reach an understanding with Russia. The American president reportedly said that Scholz is no Angela Merkel, and Macron wants to be Charles de Gaulle; Russian President Putin, in his turn, was purportedly described by Biden as "a guy with nukes and no friends".