Grushko: Russia counts on NATO's unambiguous response to Russian proposals

13 January

Russia expects NATO to accept Moscow's proposals on security guarantees or give specific explanations as to why they are unacceptable, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said on Wednesday at a news conference following a meeting of the Russia-NATO Council (RNC).


"We are counting on NATO countries to present their ideas on how we can go about implementing the proposals we put forward or to explain why they are unacceptable," he said.

Grushko said the state of relations between Russia and NATO directly or indirectly affects the security of all OSCE member states.
"Neither we nor NATO member states have immersed the process of these negotiations in the OSCE, although it is clear that the very state of relations between Russia and NATO directly or indirectly affects the security of all states that we refer to the OSCE area, that is, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean," he said.


Grushko noted that all elements of the "European security equation," on the one hand, are independently important, but on the other hand, are interconnected. "Therefore, the Russian-American track, it is central - it is quite understandable: the nuclear powers with special responsibility for maintaining global stability and security, plus the historical role of the United States," he added.

"The degree of progress and opportunities for progress on other tracks will largely depend on the understandings reached between Russia and the US <...> We do not exclude the use of the OSCE platform taking into account its unique role as a generator of arms control instruments," said the deputy foreign minister. He stressed that before relying on OSCE resources it's necessary to create a framework for European security based on Russia's proposals.



Putting ideas on paper

Grushko said Russia had urged NATO to put ideas on paper about the direction in which to move on security issues in Europe.

"I will stress once again: we took the first step, we put on paper [our ideas], we published our vision, how we see moving forward in the right direction, and today we called on our partners to also write down their ideas in which direction to move," he said.

"Then it will become clear which instruments, including negotiation formats, may be necessary in order to ensure progress towards this goal, and then we will be able to talk about some stages and the creation of more specialized formats focused on certain problems," the deputy foreign minister added.

At the same time, Grushko stressed that Russia is ready to use all opportunities to move in the right direction to ensure a solid security system in Europe. "Another thing is that today there is no basis for decisions that we might like to make, but there is no material basis due to fundamental differences in the parties' approaches to some fundamental security issues," he noted.

Grushko said Russia is ready to continue the dialogue with NATO, but for success it is necessary to move toward a common goal in the negotiations.

"Yes, of course, it is necessary to continue negotiations, without that you cannot achieve results," he said, responding to a question about the need to continue diplomatic talks with the alliance. - "We are ready to continue such discussions, but there must be new negotiations, new conversations, there must not be a repetition of previous principles and ideas, we must strive for a common goal."
Compromise solutions

Grushko said Moscow is not talking about compromise solutions in talks with NATO on security guarantees.

"We are not talking about any compromises," he said when asked by a CNN journalist who asked what Russian President Vladimir Putin might accept as a compromise on Moscow's proposals.

Grushko said the Russia-NATO Council meeting was only possible because of the Russian president's initiative on security guarantees.


The Russia-NATO Council meeting in Brussels was the second stage of consultations between Moscow and Western states on Russian proposals for European security. The first stage was Russian-US talks in Geneva on January 10; the third stage will take place at the OSCE in Vienna on January 13. The Russian delegation in Brussels was headed by Grushko and Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin, while NATO was represented by Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and the permanent representatives of 30 members of the organization in the Belgian capital.


Earlier, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov emphasized that Moscow was waiting for "a real step towards Russia" from Brussels and Washington. According to him, this should not be "a Russian step towards NATO in terms of modification of its position on key issues". Stoltenberg stated that the alliance is not ready to compromise, especially on the expansion of the organization.



GSV "Russia - Islamic World"

Photo: Sergey Bobylev / TASS

Based on materials from TASS