Washington Pledges NATO’s Readiness for Meaningful Dialogue With Russia

The NATO bloc is ready to conduct a meaningful dialogue with Russia, the US State Department said following talks between Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Secretary-General of the military alliance Jens Stoltenberg.

“Secretary of State Blinken spoke today with NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg about upcoming contacts with Russia and NATO,” the State Department said, noting that the bloc “is ready for a meaningful dialogue with Russia, remaining united on the issue of containing further aggression against Ukraine.”

On December 17, the Russian Foreign Ministry published a draft treaty with the US and the NATO military alliance on guarantees and security.

In particular, the documents imply a refusal to deploy medium and shorter-range ground-based missiles outside its territory and a refusal to expand the NATO military bloc to the east. Washington confirmed receipt of the papers.

Before this, Russian President Vladimir Putin called for negotiations on security guarantees with the United States and NATO. This became one of the discussion topics during the last telephone conversation between the head of the Russian state and US President Joe Biden.

As Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov explained, the heads of state needed to continue discussing the topics raised at the December 7 talks and the agenda of the upcoming meetings in early January.

On January 10, Geneva will host the Russia-NATO Council, at which Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov will lead the Russian delegation and the US delegation by First Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.

As the official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova emphasized, during the talks the Russian side will seek from the US colleagues “to provide firm legal guarantees of the security of the Russian Federation, namely, the non-advancement of NATO to the east and the non-deployment of weapons systems that threaten Russia at the country’s borders.”

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