0742 GMT January 20, 2022
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday described Moscow’s demands that NATO will neither expand nor deploy forces to Ukraine and other ex-Soviet nations as essential for the progress of diplomatic efforts to defuse soaring tensions over Ukraine, Al Jazeera reported.
He argued that the deployment of NATO forces and weapons near Russia’s borders poses a security challenge that must be addressed immediately.
“We have run out of patience,” Lavrov said at a news conference. “The West has been driven by hubris and has exacerbated tensions in violation of its obligations and common sense.”
Lavrov said Russia expects Washington and NATO to provide a written response to its demands next week.
Amid the tensions, Ukraine sustained a massive cyberattack on Friday, which hit websites of multiple government agencies.
This week’s negotiations in Geneva and a related NATO-Russia meeting in Brussels were held amid a significant Russian troop buildup near Ukraine.
Russia has denied having plans to attack its neighbour but warned the West that NATO’s expansion to Ukraine and other ex-Soviet nations is a “red line” that must not be crossed.
Washington and its allies rejected Moscow’s demand for security guarantees precluding NATO’s expansion, but Russia and the West agreed to leave the door open to possible further talks on arms control and confidence-building measures intended to reduce the potential for hostilities.