21 Jan 2022 17:37

Russia shouldn't give in to U.S., needs to secure NATO's return to within 1997 borders - Federation Council member

MOSCOW. Jan 21 (Interfax) - NATO has closely approached Russia's borders now, and Moscow should make sure that the alliance returns to within its 1997 borders, Vladimir Dzhabarov, first deputy head of the Federation Council's Foreign Affairs Committee, said on Friday.

"The worries that the Americans would try to turn negotiations into an idle talk are still proving true. But what I like is that Russia hasn't changed its position. I think there'll be a written reply from the U.S., after which serious conclusions will be made. I am sure we shouldn't give in this time around. We've been giving in for 30 years, and now NATO is right near our borders and knocking at our door," Dzhabarov told Interfax.

Even though, following a week of negotiations, the U.S. "has harshly criticized Russia, threatened it with sanctions and Russophobia, we've behaved decently and kept silent. Our demands were set out back in December: NATO must return to the 1997 borders, which they don't even want to hear," he said.

"We see that nothing has changed in the U.S. position, they're saying we'll continue the consultations. They're trying to narrow the problem to the situation in Ukraine. We're talking about Russia's security, and they're talking about Kyiv's security. They've admitted that there's no alternative to the Minsk Agreements, but this doesn't seem to work for now. I think we should continue to act calmly and confidently, which produces a better effect that sanction threats," Dzhabarov said in commenting on Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's negotiations with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Geneva on Friday.

Blinken said the U.S. would not negotiate NATO's Open Door Policy with Russia.

"But it's very important to be equally clear about things that we will not do. And one of those is we will not go back on the fundamental principles that we have and that we are committed to defend. And one of those is NATO's open door," he said.

Blinken also sees the reshaping of borders by force as unacceptable.

"One nation can't simply violate and change the border of another country by force," he said.

Blinken also said the U.S. would hand a list of its concerns and ideas to Russia after consultations next week and then discuss options for further negotiations.

Lavrov said Russia was not going to attack Ukraine and expected explanations from the U.S. regarding its obligation not to strengthen anyone's security through infringing upon security of others.