By Elena Teslova
MOSCOW (AA) – Russia expects to receive a concrete US response to its proposals on security guarantees in January 2022, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.
“Moscow is deeply concerned about military exercises, reconnaissance flights, and ship movements near its borders. All these ‘unfriendly’ actions force Russia to take certain measures to ensure its safety,” Peskov told reporters at a daily briefing in Moscow.
“In order to discuss the issue of de-escalation, Moscow expects Washington to reply to Russian questions and proposals in January,” he said.
The NATO countries take different positions, he said, noting that some of them are extremely unfriendly to Russia, while others consistently pursue the line of dialogue and could positively contribute to the Russian-US talks.
In a separate statement, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Russia is ready for a direct dialogue with NATO on Moscow's proposals on security guarantees.
“We confirm our readiness for direct dialogue with NATO on the Russian draft agreements on security guarantees, which exclude further expansion of the alliance to the east and the deployment of strike weapons systems in the immediate vicinity of Russian borders,” she said at a weekly news conference in Moscow.
Moscow is considering a proposal from Brussels to convene a Russia-NATO Council’s meeting to discuss the situation in Ukraine, she said.
She recalled that the council was suspended and that it is necessary to take into account all these circumstances.
Last month, Putin called on NATO to start talks aiming to provide Russia with reliable, legally binding, and long-term security guarantees.
On Dec. 15, Yury Ushakov, the presidential advisor on foreign policy issues, announced that Russia handed the draft of its proposals to the US and NATO, and two days later, the Russian Foreign Ministry published the text of the draft agreements, suggested by Russia.