Washington Asks Russia to Keep US Response on Security Guarantees Secret

Washington Asks Russia to Keep US Response on Security Guarantees Secret

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – US officials have asked their Russian colleagues not to publish Washington’s written response to Moscow’s proposal on security guarantees, according to The Washington Post.

However, according to the paper, "a senior State Department official acknowledged that the Kremlin may decide to publish it after the United States sends it next week", TASS reported.

Department of State sources also told The Washington Post that the written US response will include US proposals in the security domain and will demonstrate the country’s interest in maintaining the dialogue with Moscow. At the same time, the document will not contain any commitments regarding NATO’s open-door policy and accession of new members.

However, the US administration believes that providing a written response is important, because in this case the document can be read directly by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"There‘s one decision-maker in Russia and its President Putin," the paper quoted another Biden administration official as saying. "If this then allows the ultimate decision-maker in Russia to looks at these ideas and decide whether to move forward, it’s in our interest."

"We don’t want to be the ones who foreclose a potential diplomatic solution," he added.

Following Friday’s meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in Geneva, Washington agreed to provide written responses to Moscow’s proposals on security guarantees. After that, the US Secretary of State and the Russian top diplomat plan to hold the next meeting. At a news conference after the meeting, Lavrov told reporters that, in his opinion, publishing the US response would be a right thing to do. However, Russia will request Blinken’s consent to do so, he added.

On December 17, 2021, the Russian Foreign Ministry released a draft agreement on security guarantees between Russia and the United States, and a draft agreement on ensuring the security of Russia and NATO member states. The proposed measures include guarantees that NATO will not advance eastward, including the accession of Ukraine and other countries into the alliance. They also impose restrictions on deployment of serious offensive weapons, including nuclear ones.

Consultations on the issue took place in Geneva on January 10, followed by a meeting of the Russia-NATO Council in Brussels on January 12 and a session of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Permanent Council in Vienna on January 13.

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