Lavrov told Russia’s state-run Ria Novosti news agency on Friday that the Foreign Ministry would not allow the proposals to be rolled up in “endless discussions” as tensions simmer between Moscow and Western powers over Ukraine, increased by Moscow’s deployment of tens of thousands of troops along the two countries shared border, Al Jazeera reported.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Joe Biden spoke by telephone for nearly an hour on Thursday, their second conversation this month, ahead of lower-level, face-to-face negotiations in Geneva in January between senior officials.
Among Russia’s wish-list of requests, many of which are seen as non-starters in the West, is a demand that the US-headed NATO transatlantic security alliance promises to give up any military activity in Eastern Europe and Ukraine.
The Kremlin says NATO’s expansion eastward and Kiev’s growing ties with the body have undermined security in the region. Moscow claims such developments threaten Russia, contravene assurances given to it as the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, and compares with the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis when the world came to the brink of nuclear war.
Lavrov said Moscow would take “all necessary measures to ensure a strategic balance” in the event its concerns were ignored.