Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko, who also attended today’s meeting, warned that Moscow would respond with countermeasures if the West opted for a “Russian detention” policy.
“Relations between Russia and NATO are at a critically low level. It is taking place against the background of global instability, the terrorist threat, the development of other arms races and also the complete degradation of the security architecture in Europe, “Fomin warned, according to a defense ministry communiqué quoted by TASS.
At a meeting with NATO representatives, Fomin explained Russia’s proposals for security guarantees, which should mainly guarantee Russia that NATO will not expand to Ukraine.
According to its general secretary Jens Stoltenberg, the alliance unanimously rejected this, saying that no third country has anything to say about how any country chooses its allies.
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Gruško has warned that any further expansion of the alliance involves risks that Moscow considers unacceptable and will face.
“Another factor that is seriously undermining security in Europe is NATO enlargement. I would like to remind you that in 1997, only one country that shares a border with Russia knocked on NATO’s door, namely Poland.
At present, many nations are members of NATO, whose territory is clearly used to project force against Russia from different geographical directions and to strategic depths, “said the Russian diplomat.
“It seriously impairs our security and creates unacceptable risks for it,” he said.
According to Stoltenberg, the 30 member countries of the alliance unanimously rejected Russia’s demands to guarantee that Ukraine would never become a member of NATO and to withdraw Alliance troops and weapons from the bloc’s eastern wing.
Russia, on the other hand, has indicated that it is not yet ready to agree on a plan for further talks, Stoltenberg added. According to him, if Ukraine attacks, the alliance will consider strengthening its presence at its eastern borders.
“We are ready to act, but in order to make real progress and a substantial agreement, there must be a de-escalation,” the NATO chief said.
The Allies have called on Russia to show its willingness to act by withdrawing its troops from the border with Ukraine, where the West estimates there are about 100,000 troops ready to invade.
Moscow refuses to attack Ukraine, but insists on further talks on further talks. A spokesman for the Kremlin said during Wednesday’s talks that Russia was not conducting talks from a position of strength, but wanted to ensure its security.
Today’s roughly four-hour debate followed Monday’s meeting of representatives of Russia and the United States in Geneva. The United States was represented in Brussels as well as in Switzerland by Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.
“If Russia backs off, it will be clear that diplomacy has never been taken seriously. That is why we are collectively preparing for all eventualities, “she told reporters.