Russia on Friday announced security proposals for NATO and the United States and called for emergency talks with Washington as tensions between Moscow and Western capitals have soared due to the conflict in Ukraine.
Russia said these far-reaching proposals, which are vital to its security, stated that NATO must not allow any new members to join a military alliance headed by the United States and called for not establishing new military bases in the former Soviet Union.
At a briefing with reporters after the publication of the draft, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov stated that Russia is preparing to hold emergency security talks with the United States “at the earliest” Saturday.
He said: “We are ready to hold talks with the United States in a third country immediately, or even tomorrow-actually tomorrow, Saturday-with the United States in a third country,” he pointed out, “Geneva is for the Americans.”
The announcement of the draft agreement-an unusual step in international diplomacy-comes at a time of tension between Russia and the West, especially the war in eastern Ukraine.
The West accuses Moscow of preparing to invade, claiming that Russia has deployed tens of thousands of troops along the Ukrainian border.
Russian President Vladimir Putin denied planning to launch an attack and blamed NATO for the escalation of tensions, demanding “legal guarantees” that the alliance will not expand eastward.
Russia’s document submitted to NATO stated that Moscow and NATO should work to “prevent incidents in the Baltic and Black Sea regions” and stated that a telephone hotline should be established for “emergency contact”.