Russia sees an Opportunity for Dialogue after US Responses
Moscow sees an opportunity to continue dialogue with the United States. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia would not be quick to draw conclusions after the United States formally rejected Moscow's request for NATO to end its enlargement.
Peskov said it would take time for Moscow to reconsider the US response.
Earlier, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told reporters that the United States is open to dialogue, but made it clear that “there are basic principles we respect and defend, including Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and the right of countries to decide for themselves their security and membership of alliances”.
According to Peskov, it is in the interest of both Moscow and Washington to continue the dialogue, although US and NATO remarks on the inadmissibility of Russia's main demands do not leave much room for optimism.
President Vladimir Putin will decide on Russia's next steps regarding the US and NATO written responses, which were delivered on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
Russia has amassed more than 100,000 troops, according to Western intelligence, near the border with Ukraine and is conducting a series of ground and naval exercises. This raises fears of an attack, especially against the backdrop of Ukraine's illegally annexed Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in 2014.
The Kremlin denies having such plans and identifies NATO as a threat to its security, insisting on legal guarantees that the Alliance will not expand further east, including Ukraine. Washington and NATO have called some of the demands completely unacceptable.
/Radio Free Europe Bulgaria
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