Russia’s proposals on security guarantees could serve as springboard for re-engagement, says Dmitry Peskov
Potential talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden would hinge on Washington’s willingness to hear Moscow’s security concerns, the Kremlin’s press secretary said Sunday.
Speaking to the Rossiya-1 TV channel, Dmitry Peskov said a high-level re-engagement could happen if the United States “takes into account our concerns.
It would depend on “the American willingness to go back to the December-January state of affairs and ask the question: what the Russians are proposing may not suit all of us, but perhaps we should still sit down with them at the negotiating table?
The spokesman explained that he was referring to the draft documents on security guarantees that Moscow had submitted to Brussels and Washington before the Ukrainian conflict broke out in late February.
In mid-December last year, the Russian Foreign Ministry published the drafts of two treaties – one with the United States and the other with NATO – with a list of security requirements for Moscow, with the aim of reducing tensions in Europe.
At the time, Russia wanted the West to ban Ukraine from joining NATO and limit the deployment of troops and weapons to the eastern flank of the bloc. He also insisted that the military alliance withdraw to its borders from 1997, before expanding eastward.
Although neither the United States nor NATO gave written responses to Russia’s proposals, they both rejected Moscow’s request to exclude Ukraine from the bloc.
Earlier this month, Putin said he saw no need for talks with his American counterpart, explaining that “There is no platform for negotiations yet.” The statement was echoed by the White House, which said Joe Biden does not plan to meet the Russian leader at the G20 summit next month, although he previously declined to rule out the possibility.
The last time the two leaders met in person was in June 2021 in Geneva, Switzerland. The talks were followed by a virtual summit in December, with Ukraine being one of the topics on the agenda.
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