On Wednesday, the second meeting in a series of talks between Russia and the West took place in Brussels. The Russian-NATO Council was aimed to discuss the Russian proposal on security guarantees.
According to NATO, talks lasted more than expected as Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg had a news conference scheduled for 1:30 pm, local time, reprogrammed for 2:15 pm. The first stage of the talks was the meeting between Russia and the US in Geneva last January 10, and the third stage will happen as an OSCE meeting in Vienna scheduled for January 13.
Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko and Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin led the Russian delegation in Brussels. NATO was represented by the Secretary General of the organization Jens Stoltenberg, Wendy Sherman, Deputy Secretary of State, and representatives of 30 NATO member states in Brussels.
Earlier, Russian Deputy FM Sergey Ryabkov introduced Moscow’s expectations to Brussels and Washington to create a “real step towards Russia.” Before the talks, Stoltenberg stated the Bloc is ready to hear Russia’s proposals and begin open and reasonable dialogues; on the other hand, it underlined that NATO is not ready for compromises, especially on the issues of its expansion.
Russia addressed its security demands to the United States and European nations, comprised in three key points: the pullout of US nuclear weapons from Europe, the termination of the practice of deploying NATO’s conventional forces near Russia’s borders and creating its military infrastructure there and NATO’s official refusal to draw Ukraine and Georgia into the alliance.
According to Moscow, the measures would solve the security imbalance in Europe that emerged after the break-up of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact.