Washington is asking Moscow not to publish a future US response to Russian demands for security guarantees, US administration sources say. The States must respond by January 30. According to one of the officials of the State Department, the Russian authorities may, contrary to this desire, disclose the contents of the message. According to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, the US document will outline its “concerns” and ideas for strengthening “a sense of mutual security.”
Russia may go ahead with the release of the US response on security assurances, but the US is asking Russian diplomats to keep the contents of the document secret. This was reported by The Washington Post (WP) with reference to a senior source in the State Department.
According to an anonymous source, even if the US response does not satisfy the wishes of Moscow, it should be submitted in writing – so that “the only person who makes a decision in Russia – Vladimir Putin ” can read it.
“If sending a response allows the final decision maker in Russia to consider [our] ideas and decide whether to move forward or not, then it is in our (American) interests,” the official said.
The United States is expected to send the document next week, until January 30th.
According to WP, the response from the Joe Biden administration will include US security proposals and demonstrate Washington’s interest in continuing the dialogue.
The answer will disappoint Russia, which wants NATO to abandon the “open door policy” in relation to potential new members of the alliance, the newspaper’s interlocutor added. Nevertheless, the White House believes that it is worth responding, if only to ensure that the United States does not turn out to be “those who refuse a possible diplomatic solution,” another source said.
On January 21, White House Press Secretary Jennifer Psaki also commented on the likely content of the US response to Russian security guarantee proposals.
“We will put in writing the serious concerns that we, allies and partners, have about Russia’s actions, as well as ideas about how we can really increase each other’s sense of security in the future,” she said.
Psaki noted that the parties, within the framework of negotiations on security guarantees, plan to discuss increasing transparency, reducing risks, promoting arms control, and building confidence.
Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, at a meeting with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, said that ignoring the legitimate demands of Russia by the US and NATO would have serious consequences.
“The experience of our communication with Western colleagues on the issues of European security is replete with examples when something was promised, and then not fulfilled,” the Foreign Minister said following the talks in Geneva.
Blinken, in turn, said that they agreed to continue the dialogue.
“I told him (Lavrov) that after consultations that we will have in the coming days with allies and partners, we expect that next week we will be able to share our concerns and ideas with Russia in more detail and in writing. And after that, we agreed on further discussions,” the Secretary of State said.
According to him, the meeting with Lavrov was frank and meaningful. The head of the State Department added that now Moscow and Washington are “on a clear path in understanding mutual concerns” ( TASS quote ).
A new Russian-American meeting is planned after Moscow reads the US written response to the security proposals. At the same time, Blinken noted that the States are ready for contacts at the highest level.
Song without Words
The negotiations between Lavrov and Blinken did not last long, only about an hour and a half. Initially, the world press predicted that the conversation would last at least 2-3 hours, but the very first statements by diplomats indicated that there were no breakthroughs.
The US Secretary of State immediately began communicating with his Russian counterpart with the threat of dire consequences for Russia in the event of an invasion of Ukraine, the threat of which Washington, along with other Western states, has been consistently stating since the end of last autumn.
Lavrov responded by saying that he would like to hear specific answers from his colleague on how the US interprets its security commitments. In addition, Lavrov expressed the hope that the meeting would help Washington prepare responses to Russian proposals for security guarantees and even make its own counterproposals, if any.
In addition, the minister separately noted that he would ask to publish a written response from the American side to Russia. “I think it would be right to make [the US response] public, and I will ask Anthony Blinken that they do not object,” Lavrov said.
The United States is unlikely to move away from its “red lines”, as well as Russia, suggested in a conversation with “Gazeta.Ru” Americanist political scientist Malek Dudakov.
“In their written responses, most likely, the Americans will say that the non-bloc status of Ukraine is unacceptable for them, so if Kiev wants to join NATO, they will do everything possible for this. In addition, we will certainly talk about Ukrainian weapons, and maybe the question of deploying missiles on its territory, ”the expert noted.
According to Dmitry Suslov, Deputy Director of the Center for International Studies at the Higher School of Economics, Dmitry Suslov, Russia will be offered “such… Founding Act 2.0, where the principles and rules will remain in the form in which it is beneficial to the United States, but on some military issues, readiness to meet Russia’s requirements will be proclaimed.”