Russia says US response to demands offered little hope for optimism
The Kremlin’s spokesperson said on Thursday that the responses to Russia’s security demands from the U.S. and NATO amid the Ukraine crisis left “little ground for optimism.”
But Dmitry Peskov added that “there always are prospects for continuing a dialogue, it’s in the interests of both us and the Americans,” according to The Associated Press.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov echoed Peskov’s dissatisfaction with the U.S. response.
“The document contains no positive response on the main issue” of Russia’s demands, he said, adding, however, that the letter contained elements that could lead to “the start of a serious talk on secondary issues.”
Lavrov said a response from Russia would come soon.
On Wednesday the U.S. ambassador to Russia, John Sullivan, delivered a written response to Russia’s demands. While the contents of the response was not disclosed, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that it “reiterates what we said publicly for many weeks and in a sense for many, many years.”
According to Blinken, President Biden personally edited the U.S. response and was intimately involved in its drafting.
Among Russia’s demands are guarantees that NATO will not expand further eastward and that Ukraine will never be permitted as a member of the military alliance. The U.S. has deemed these demands to be non-starters.
Lavrov on Wednesday warned of “retaliatory measures” if Russia’s demands weren’t met. Addressing Russian lawmakers, Lavrov said that if the West” continues its aggressive course, Moscow will take the necessary retaliatory measures.”
Lavrov also indicated that Russia had limited patience when it came to talks.
“We won’t allow our proposals to be drowned in endless discussions,” he said.
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