(CNN) – The written responses provided by the United States and NATO to Russia’s security demands did not address Moscow’s main concern: NATO’s expansion to the east.
“There is no positive reaction on the main issue in this document,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters in Moscow.
“The main problem is our clear position on the inadmissibility of further expansion of NATO in the east and the deployment of offensive weapons that could threaten the territory of the Russian Federation.”
Lavrov said that the United States and NATO had previously agreed in the context of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe not to expand at the expense of Russia’s security.
“We make nonverbal promises, written documents signed by the leaders of all the countries of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), including the President of the United States (Istanbul Declaration of 1999, Astana Declaration of 2010) and our Western partners must,” Lavrov explained. They get out of a more dangerous situation.
“This principle is clearly well-established. It has two main approaches that are interrelated. In the first place, the right of each country to freely choose military alliances is recognized. Second: the obligation of each country not to strengthen its security at the expense of the security of others,” added the Russian Foreign Minister.
Lavrov concluded that “in other words, the right to choose alliances is clearly conditioned on the need to take into account the security interests of any other OSCE state, including the Russian Federation.”
The Russian foreign minister admitted that the responses of the United States and NATO could lead to serious discussions, but only on minor issues.
“There is a reaction that allows us to start a serious conversation, but on minor issues,” he said.
Russia won’t give an answer soon
Before Lavrov’s statement, he told the Kremlin that Russian President Vladimir Putin had read the written responses of the United States and NATO to his security demands, but said he and his government would not rush to any conclusions.
“The president has already read the written answers,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters during a conference call on Thursday. All papers with the president. It will take some time to analyze it, and we will not rush to any conclusion.”
Peskov said Russia’s response would not take long, but cautioned that it would not happen immediately.
“The reaction should not be delayed, but waiting for a reaction the next day might be foolish,” he said.
A Kremlin spokesman said Russia’s main concerns did not appear to have been addressed, but declined to give a final official response to the responses provided by the United States and NATO.
“It cannot be said that our considerations have been taken into account or that a willingness has been shown to take our concerns into account, but, once again, I repeat, we will not be too quick to judge,” Peskov explained.
“I have heard the statement from both the Foreign Minister [de EE.UU.] [Antony Blinken] like one of [Secretario General de la OTAN, Jens] Stoltenberg, speaking quite unequivocally about dismissing our primary concern,” added Peskov, noting that there were no positive signs.
“There is no good reason for optimism, but I would hold back from conceptual assessments,” he said.