The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, informed President Vladimir Putin on Monday that “there are possibilities” of an agreement with the United States and NATO on “key issues” of the security guarantees that Moscow demands and has announced that they will continue contacts in full tension around Ukraine.
EU advises non-essential staff to leave Ukraine amid US warnings of imminent Russian attack
The comments have been interpreted as a signal from the Kremlin that it intends to continue diplomatic efforts amid US warnings of an imminent Russian attack on Ukraine.
In a meeting, part of which has been broadcast on Russian public television, Putin has asked Lavrov if there is a chance of reaching an agreement to address Russia’s security concerns, Reuters reports.
Lavrov has indicated to the head of the Kremlin that Russia will continue to search for answers to problems. “You and other representatives of Russia have said that we warn that it is not admissible to negotiate forever on issues that require a solution today. But being the foreign minister, I must say that there are always possibilities,” he said.
He added that, in his opinion, Russia’s possibilities “are far from being exhausted.” The negotiations, he stressed, “should not go on forever, but at this stage I would propose continuing and intensifying them.”
“It’s fine,” said Putin, who asked his minister if the response to the US and NATO responses to the demands for security guarantees was prepared, among which is the commitment that Ukraine or any other former Soviet republic will become part of NATO.
Lavrov has replied that the response document, ten pages long, has already been drafted. He added that Russia will continue to wait for a response to its legitimate concerns about the indivisibility of security in Europe from each of the countries in the space of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
It has also indicated that the United States has presented concrete proposals to reduce military risks, but has stated that the responses of the European Union and the NATO military alliance have not been “satisfactory”, reports Reuters.