A moment of truth Russia declares start of countdown

Matthew 24:6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.

Important Takeaways:

  • Russian delegation declares start of ‘countdown’ in wait for adoption of Russian proposals
  • The West faces the moment of truth, which has started the countdown in wait for the adoption of Russian proposals on security guarantees addressed to the United States and NATO, Konstantin Gavrilov
  • “I am convinced that with goodwill and a willingness to compromise in any situation, it is possible to find a way out to mutually acceptable solutions. We are running out of time. The countdown begins.”

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Time is ticking, Moscow expects response on security agreements from the West

Matt 24:10,11 Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.

Important Takeaways:

  • Moscow expects written response from West on security guarantees — OSCE delegation
  • In Vienna Konstantin Gavrilov drew attention to the participants of the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation. “We expect a detailed written response to our proposals as quickly as possible. After its thorough study in Moscow, among other things, there will be an understanding of whether the Forum for Security Co-operation can be integrated into the work on security guarantees,”

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Russia presses for urgent U.S. response on security guarantees

By Tom Balmforth

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia said on Monday it urgently needed a response from the United States on its sweeping security demands and again warned of a possible Russian military response unless it saw political action to assuage its concerns.

Moscow, which has unnerved the West with a troop buildup near Ukraine, last week unveiled a wish list of security proposals it wants to negotiate, including a promise NATO would give up any military activity in Eastern Europe and Ukraine.

Washington has said some of Russia’s proposals are obviously unacceptable, but that the United States will respond some time this week with more concrete proposals on the format of any talks.

Emily Horne, spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, said Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan spoke by phone with his Russian counterpart, Yuriy Ushakov, to stress the United States is prepared to communicate through multiple channels including bilateral engagement.

Sullivan “made clear that any dialogue must be based on reciprocity and address our concerns about Russia’s actions, and take place in full coordination with our European allies and partners. He also noted that substantive progress can only occur in an environment of de-escalation rather than escalation,” she said.

Konstantin Gavrilov, a Russian diplomat in Vienna, said that relations between Moscow and NATO had reached a “moment of truth”.

“The conversation needs to be serious and everyone in NATO understands perfectly well despite their strength and power that concrete political action needs to be taken, otherwise the alternative is a military-technical and military response from Russia,” he was quoted as saying by RIA news agency.

The U.S. response is likely to shape Moscow’s calculus over Ukraine, which has become the main flashpoint in East-West relations.

The United States and Ukraine say Russia may be preparing an invasion of its ex-Soviet neighbor. Russia denies that and says it is Ukraine’s growing relationship with NATO that has caused the standoff to escalate. It has compared it to the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, when the world came to the brink of nuclear war.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Moscow had so far received no response from the United States.

“I think they’ll try to turn this into a slow-moving process, but we need it to be urgent, because the situation is very difficult, it is acute, it tends to become more complicated,” he was quoted by RIA as saying.

The Kremlin said it was still too early to assess the West’s response, but that information from “various sources” about a readiness to discuss the ideas was positive.

Asked separately about a Belarusian proposal to host Russian nuclear weapons in the event of similar deployments in its vicinity by the West, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow had numerous options.

“It’s no secret the deployment of different types of armaments near our borders that could pose a danger would require corresponding steps to be taken to balance the situation. There are all sorts of options here,” he said.

(Reporting by Tom Balmforth, Maria Kiselyova and Dmitry Antonov; additional reporting by Steve Holland in Washington; editing by Mark Trevelyan, William Maclean)

Russia to West: offer us guarantees or risk unravelling security

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia on Friday warned of the danger of a major confrontation with the West unless the United States and its allies gave serious thought to security guarantees for Moscow, and it also raised the prospect of a European missile crisis.

The comments by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov at a news briefing in Moscow came amid soaring tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine and a Russian troop build-up near its borders.

In a top-level video call to defuse the tensions on Tuesday, President Vladimir Putin asked U.S. President Joe Biden for security guarantees for Russia that would halt NATO’s eastward expansion.

Russia has said it is waiting to see where the idea leads, though Ryabkov said it would be “naive” to expect the guarantees to be obtained. Bilateral ties are at their lowest point since the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union.

“If our opponents on the other side – above all the United States but also other countries, its allies, so-called like-minded countries – if they refuse, and try and torpedo this, they will inevitably get a further worsening of their own security situation,” Ryabkov said.

“Not to agree would mean to move closer towards a big confrontation,” he said.

He also urged the West to seriously consider a long-standing proposal to impose a moratorium on the deployment of short- and intermediate-range missiles in Europe that were banned under a missile pact that collapsed under then-U.S. President Donald Trump.

Ryabkov criticized the United States and its NATO allies for expanding their military capabilities in Eastern Europe.

“We need before it’s too late to avoid a new missile crisis in Europe. The appearance of short- and medium-range weapons on these territories is a direct route to escalating confrontation,” he said.

(Reporting by Tom Balmforth and Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Paul Simao)