News ID: 318761
Published: 0206 GMT December 17, 2021

Russia lays out security demands to lower tensions with West over Ukraine

Russia lays out security demands to lower tensions with West over Ukraine

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov

Russia on Friday laid out an array of security guarantees it wants from the West including promises to give up any military activity in Ukraine and Eastern Europe and not to expand the NATO military alliance further.

The demands, spelt out by Moscow in full for the first time, form a package that Russia says is an essential requirement for lowering tensions in Europe and defusing the crisis over Ukraine, Reuters reported.

But they contain elements – such as an effective Russian veto on NATO membership for Ukraine – that the West has already ruled out.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters Russia and West must start from a clean sheet in rebuilding relations.

"The line pursued by the United States and NATO over recent years to aggressively escalate the security situation is absolutely unacceptable and extremely dangerous," he said.

"Washington and its NATO allies should immediately stop regular hostile actions against our country, including unscheduled exercises, dangerous rapprochements and manoeuvres of military ships and planes, and stop the military development of Ukrainian territory."

Ryabkov told reporters that Russia was not willing to put up with the current situation any more. He urged the United States to take the proposals seriously and come up with a constructive response.

Moscow handed over its proposals to the United States this week amid soaring tensions over a build-up of Russian troops near Ukraine. Western countries have warned Russia may be about to launch a new attack on Ukraine, something Moscow has denied.

Russia says it is responding to what it sees as threats to its own security from Ukraine's increasingly close relations with NATO and aspirations to join the alliance.

European Union leaders agreed on Thursday they would impose further economic sanctions on Russia – in tandem with the United States and Britain – if the Russian military invaded Ukraine, although they encouraged more diplomacy with Moscow.






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