Russia & USA engage on the issue of "security guarantees" demanded by Putin

Contacts have reportedly begun between Russia and the United States on the issue of security guarantees demanded by the Kremlin and there is a possibility that the sides will reach an understanding, Russia's state-controlled RIA news agency quoted a Russian diplomat as saying.

Russia has yet to decide what steps it will take if the Washington-led NATO bloc refuses to consider its position, senior security negotiator Konstantin Gavrilov said, but Brussels understands that Moscow is not bluffing.

Russia has demanded guarantees that NATO will not expand to Ukraine or deploy weapons and troops there, despite Kyiv's aspirations to join the group and complaints that Russian troops amassed near its border signal a threat to invade.

"Washington and its NATO allies should immediately stop regular hostile actions against our country, including unscheduled exercises ... and manoeuvres of military ships and planes, and stop the military development of Ukrainian territory, said Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.

The United States of America shall undertake to prevent further eastward expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and deny accession to the Alliance to the States of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The United States of America shall not establish military bases in the territory of the States of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics that are not members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, use their infrastructure for any military activities or develop bilateral military cooperation with them.

Russian Government.

"...the scale of the proposals does not allow for simply accepting a refusal from the West and postponing the demands until the next round of diplomatic talks — that would undermine the credibility of the demands — the interesting thing now will be to see what the Kremlin does if it receives the negative response from the West that it apparently sought from the beginning," said Fyodor Lukyanov, Chairman of the Council on Foreign & Defence Policy.

In the meantime, the man regarded by many as "Putin's useful idiot," right-wing politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky, issued a statement claiming that “The State Duma considers the collapse of the U.S.S.R. the main geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century, which led to disintegration in various areas of society.”

Zhirinovsky

Zhirinovsky, who when he ran for prime minister (he has also stood in six presidential elections) built his campaign on promises of free vodka for men and better underwear for women, is regarded by many as being "somewhat mad."

He famously referred to the United States as a “second-hand goods store” filled with “cocksuckers, hand-jobbers, and faggots,” and threatened to change the gravitational field of the Earth in order to sink the entire country.


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