After the Lavrov-Blinken meeting: Moscow is Waiting for an Answer by Next Week
Russia and the United States agreed for Washington to provide written answers to Russia's proposals for security guarantees. This was stated today at a press conference after the meeting between US Secretary of State Anthony Blinkon and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, quoted by TASS.
“Today we discussed Ukraine. Our American colleagues tried again to focus on the problems of the border between Russia and Ukraine, tried to link everything else with the need for so-called de-escalation. This has already become a conjuration. I will emphasize again, however, that in the end we agreed that written answers to our proposals would be presented to us next week,” the minister said.
Lavrov said the dialogue would continue and expressed hope that passions around Ukraine would cooldown. He reiterated that Russia is not a threat to its neighbor.
Russia, which has tens of thousands of troops near the border with Ukraine and sent troops to Belarus for joint military exercises, wants NATO to promise not to accept Ukraine as a member and has called on the Western military alliance to halt expansion eastward. NATO has rejected the demands, Reuters recalls.
Prior to the talks, Blinken and Lavrov shook hands at the President Wilson Hotel in the Swiss city of Geneva.
“But I hope and expect that we can see if the path of diplomacy and dialogue remains open. We are committed to following this path, to resolving our differences peacefully, and I hope to test this proposal today,” Blinken said. .
Western countries fear that Moscow is planning a new attack on Ukraine after sending forces to the former Soviet republic in 2014 to annex the Crimean peninsula. Moscow denies planning an attack, but says it could take unspecified military action if its security requirements are not met.
Yesterday it became clear that one of the Russian demands specifically concerns Bulgaria and Romania. Moscow is urging NATO forces to withdraw from the two countries.
“Bulgaria is a sovereign state and we have long made our choice as a member of NATO and as such we choose to work in coordination with our partners and allies. We call on the Russian Federation to remain engaged in a constructive dialogue to de-escalate tensions. As well as to strictly implement the accepted international legal commitments”, said Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov during his extraordinary hearing in the National Assembly on the topic.
Moscow's interference in Bulgaria's internal affairs was condemned in political declarations by Democratic Bulgaria and GERB.
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