Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday called on the West to “immediately” meet Moscow’s demand for security guarantees that stops NATO from eastward expansion and said that the United States is “on the threshold of our home”. During the annual conference, Putin welcomed talks with the US and said that the negotiations will start in Geneva next month, which is January 2022. While asserting that talks with Washinton is a “positive” move, Putin declared that "it’s not us who threaten anyone".
“Is it us who are putting missiles near the U.S. borders?” Putin said angrily. “No, it’s the U.S. who came to our home with its missiles, it’s already on the threshold of our home. Is it some excessive demand not to place any strike weapons systems near our home?”
Putin’s remarks came after, on 17 December, Russia’s Foreign Ministry published two draft agreements regarding the security guarantees between Moscow, the United States and the alliance. Amid tensions over its border with Ukraine, the Kremlin suggested that NATO would not expand further into Eastern Europe and stop Washington and Moscow from deploying medium to short-range missiles within striking distance of each other’s territory. The proposal also limits the troop, warship and aircraft deployment for both sides.
Meanwhile, Russia has said that the United States’ attempt to use the dialogue with Moscow on security guarantees is a cover for the further military development of Ukraine. According to Sputnik, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that America’s actions of developing Ukraine’s military will lead to an inevitable deterioration of the tensions in Europe. He also said that the responsibility of escalating tensions near the Ukrainian border will fall entirely on the US and NATO.
In an interview with the magazine International Affairs on Thursday, Ryoabkov said, “We want to quickly formalise those agreements that we have put on paper […].”
“If a precondition on the American side is the requirement that we carry out certain measures on our own territory that Washington and other NATO capitals will 'like', or that, under dictation of Kyiv, the Americans want to put forward as a requirement for us, as a condition for the continuation of further work then it will not work,” he added.