By Elena Teslova
MOSCOW (AA) – Russia and the US will hold their first round of consultations on security guarantees next month, the Russian foreign minister said on Wednesday.
Moscow and Washington already agreed on negotiators to take part in the January meeting, Sergey Lavrov told Russian channel RT.
“A series of conversations took place at the level of foreign policy assistants to the presidents of Russia and the United States,” he said, referring to Yuri Ushakov and US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. “And following the results of another contact, the organizational modalities of further work were agreed upon.”
He added that it was agreed at the beginning of next year, the first bilateral round between Russian and American negotiators should be held.
Also in January, Russia plans to engage in talks on security issues with NATO countries, said Lavrov.
Lavrov called the US reaction to the Russian proposal "businesslike," and quick organization of the discussions on the future security dialogue "a positive step."
He promised to do everything to make sure Russia's concerns over security guarantees are taken seriously.
"We do not want a war, but we will adamantly ensure our security with the means that we deem necessary," he said.
Separately, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia expects the US to put forth its position accurately at the upcoming talks so that the process will end with a concrete result.
- ‘Concrete result’ sought
"Our proposals have been formulated concretely and very clearly, and have been transmitted to Washington and other European capitals. We would like to hope that our partners and our counterparts will also arrive at the upcoming talks with clearly formulated positions,” he said.
"Now it is very important that all the main messages from our counterparts are also clearly formulated so that negotiations do not turn into a process for the sake of the process, but so that they are aimed at a concrete result.
“As for Russia's flexibility and readiness to negotiate the terms of the draft agreements, there are some fundamental issues related to the processes that threaten Russia's security that can't be changed,” he said.
Asked about the possibility of another videoconference meeting between the Russian and US presidents before the end of the year, Peskov said there are no exact agreements.
A meeting “may take place, may not take place. It (can be) agreed upon quickly enough if necessary. There are no exact agreements yet,” Peskov said.
Last month, Russian President Vladimir 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, a foreign policy advisor to Putin, said 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.