Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that Russian diplomats, along with military officials will take part in talks with the US next month. He said that talks will focus on list of security guarantees that Russia wants from the US. Lavrov made the comments in an interview. It was livestreamed on his ministry’s website.
Lavrov said that the talks would take place immediately after Russia’s new year holidays. January 10 is the first official day of working in new year in Russia.
West is alarmed over Russia’s buildup of troops along Ukraine border. Though Russia says it will not invade Ukraine, it is constantly saying that it is facing threat from its neighbour. This is perceived by many as Russian attempts to create a pretext for inavsion.
Russia is fiercely opposed to Ukraine’s inclusion in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated this stance in media interaction few days ago.
On Sunday, it was reported by Russia’s Tass news agency that the country was considering a proposal for dialogue it received from NATO. This proposal is separate from any that may pertain to Russian talks with the US. As per the report, NATO proposal suggested that the talks begin on January 12.
Last week, Russia unveiled its wish list of security proposals. The list includes demand that NATO give up any military activity in Eastern Europe and Ukraine.
The United States, the European Union and the Group of Seven have all warned Putin that he will face “massive consequences” including tough economic sanctions in the event of any new Russian aggression.
(With inputs from agencies)