President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Lavrov, we agreed today that the Foreign Ministry would present its views on the responses we received to our proposals sent to our US colleagues in Washington and our NATO colleagues in Brussels regarding security issues in Europe and their response to our concerns, primarily NATO’s endless and, in our view, most dangerous eastward expansion, now aimed at reaching out to former Soviet republics, including Ukraine.
I know that this analysis has been done. You also worked on it with your colleagues from other departments and ministries. Of course, I would like to hear both your analysis and your proposals on a response to the replies received from Washington and Brussels.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov: Mr President,
We have been working on your instructions since mid-December when we presented our initiatives to the Americans and to NATO member countries. We met with an American delegation and held a Russia-NATO Council meeting in mid-January during which we explained to our partners in detail the importance of our initiatives for resolving key security problems in the Euro-Atlantic Region.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken asked me for a separate meeting to clarify certain questions, and we had a meeting in Geneva. Several days later, on January 25, I believe, they sent us a response – a response from the United States and a response from the North Atlantic Alliance. We attentively studied these with our colleagues in the inter-departmental format.
We are primarily interested in a reply from the United States since it is clear to everyone who is playing the main role in resolving these issues in the Western camp. The US response consists of two parts.
In the first part, they respond to the three major issues that we outlined: NATO’s non-expansion; non-deployment of strike weapons that are a threat to us; and, in general, returning military and military-technical configurations in Europe to 1997 positions when Russia and NATO signed the Founding Act that raised the task of ensuring indivisible security for the first time.
The responses to these issues were negative and of course, we cannot be satisfied with them. They basically said the right of a state to choose unions and join or replace them overrides everything else and is not a subject for discussion, as it were.
We are reminding the Americans and our other Western colleagues that this right, formalised in OSCE top-level decisions at the 1999 and 2010 summits, the Russia-NATO 2002 Rome Declaration, and the Lisbon Declaration of the 2010 Russia-NATO summit, is not unconditional. This right is directly conditioned by other points that were supported, let me repeat, as a package by consensus.
The second part of the package basically says that each state’s right to choose alliances is limited by its own commitments not to enhance its security at the expense of any other state. And there is another point here, a very important one, which runs that no country, no group of countries or no organisation can dominate in the OSCE space.
Unfortunately, we are seeing an attempt by our NATO colleagues and the European Union, which is groping for its own place, to somehow have them alone determine the further progress of our continent.
Therefore, during the time between the meetings you had and the ones we had through the Foreign Ministry, I sent a special address to all our Western colleagues, drawing their attention to the fact that the obligations on the indivisibility of security are much more complex and complicated than they are trying to present them as they justify Ukraine’s joining NATO. They assure us, in parenthesis, that this is something that will not happen any time soon. We are well aware of how those assurances work.
I have received unsatisfactory responses; none of my fellow ministers have responded to my direct address. We have received two small papers – one from an official in the office of NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg and another from an official in the office of Josep Borrell, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The messages read: don’t worry, the dialogue must continue; the main thing you need to do is to ensure de-escalation around Ukraine.
I think this is exactly a neglect of the norm as stated at the top level which says that no organisation can consider itself the main and dominant one in the Euro-Atlantic Region.
So, we will continue to seek a concrete response from each country since all the documents I reported to you were signed under national status, and the responsibility for their content and the commitments under these documents must be accounted for at the national level.
This is about the first part of the response, basically the Americans, which does not suit us.
The second part is more constructive to a certain extent. It envisages rather specific measures to address the problems of land-based short and intermediate-range missiles after the Americans discarded the corresponding treaty. It also contains specific proposals on a range of measures to reduce military risks, confidence-building measures and military transparency.
Interestingly, almost all of the components the Americans included in their response reflect initiatives that the Russian Federation has been promoting over the past few years.
With regard to short and intermediate-range missiles, we have been waiting for a response to your address since September 2020, where you proposed agreeing on reciprocal and mutually verifiable moratoriums on the deployment of these types of weapons in Europe. Nobody ever responded.
The proposals from our General Staff, sent to NATO in 2020, included measures to move military exercises away from the line of contact between Russia and NATO and to agree on a minimum distance for the rapprochement of military aircraft and warships, as well as a number of other military-technical confidence-building measures. Those two have been left without attention.
As of today, however, we have seen some very specific responses to the initiatives we advanced earlier. The other side is demonstrating a willingness to enter into serious negotiations. It is clear that our initiative on European security, on security guarantees we put forward and are strongly promoting, clearly stating our fundamental interests in this, has given our Western colleagues a shake. This is why they are no longer able to just ignore many of our previous calls.
So, I would say we can consider further progress in these areas, but only while maintaining the integrity of our December 2021 initiative, maintaining an integrated approach. This approach is broader than reaching some specific agreements on industry-specific, isolated, secondary aspects of maintaining military security, important though they are; but above all, this approach is about the legal settlement of issues that generally threaten the Euro-Atlantic Region.
I am referring to where we started with in our initiatives, when you repeatedly emphasised, including during your recent telephone conversations and news conferences – we need to ensure indivisible security, including with regard to NATO’s non-expansion, non-deployment of strike weapons and returning to its 1997 configuration.
We at the Foreign Ministry are convinced that this approach must remain a priority. In developing a dialogue on some aspects that are of practical importance today, with our Western, primarily American colleagues, we will be seeking in parallel their responses to the legitimate concerns that we have raised and that you have repeatedly confirmed, including at the news conference with Emmanuel Macron. I believe you have very clearly described the potential for drawing Ukraine into NATO under these conditions, considering Kiev’s ambitions.
Vladimir Putin: Mr Lavrov, do you think we still have a chance of coming to terms with our partners on the key problems of our concern or is this simply an attempt to drag us into an endless negotiating process with no logical conclusion?
Sergei Lavrov: Mr President, you have said more than once – you and other representatives of the Russian Federation have said – that we are warning that an endless discussion on the issues that must be resolved today is unacceptable.
That said, as the head of the Foreign Ministry, I must say that there is always a chance. I am referring to your recent meetings with the US and French leaders; the Federal Chancellor of Germany is coming tomorrow; our colleagues are addressing me: the Polish Foreign Minister will be here tomorrow; the Italian Foreign Minister will come here in two days, and other meetings are being planned.
We have consistently conducted explanatory work; we are committed to explaining why we are right, and that we are ready to listen to serious counter arguments. That said, I think our opportunities are far from exhausted. Of course, they should not be endless, but I think we should still continue to pursue and build on them at this point.
Vladimir Putin: All right.
Do you have a draft response to the documents that Brussels and Washington sent us?
Sergei Lavrov: Yes, it proceeds from the…
Vladimir Putin: I see. But has it been formulated, I mean this package?
Sergei Lavrov: It was formulated on ten pages.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you.
Vladimir Putin had a working meeting with Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation Sergei Shoigu.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Shoigu, I know that today you are ready to report on the exercises underway in various parts of the oceans, including in the Far East, the south and the north, as well as those in the Central Military District and with our friends in Belarus.
Please, go ahead.
Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu: Mr President, indeed, I wanted to give an update on the exercises today.
These are large-scale exercises and they are underway in the Western Military District, involving virtually all fleets, including those in the Barents Sea, the Black Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Pacific Fleet. Military units from virtually all military districts, including the Eastern Military District, the Central Military District and the Northern Military District, are taking part in these exercises.
Some of these exercises are nearing completion, and others will end in the near future.
I would like to note that the exercises involved drills against various types of hypothetical enemy attacks in all areas, including those of surface ships, submarines and of blue-water navies.
During the Pacific Fleet’s operations, as part of an exercise near the Kuril island of Urup, we detected a submarine, presumably that of the United States. Following almost three-hour operations, the submarine was expelled from the territory of the Russian Federation. Actually, it had ventured over four kilometres into Russian territorial waters, a large distance, by local standards. We conducted special operations three times and forced the submarine to leave Russia’s territorial waters.
Such activity in the east is absolutely incomprehensible and unjustified. But I want to repeat once again that the exercises will proceed: some of them are over, others are nearing completion, and we still have to accomplish certain tasks, with due consideration for the scale of the exercises that were planned and launched on your instruction in December.
Vladimir Putin: Ok, thank you very much.
We will now go into more detail.
Russia’s demands for “security guarantees” have been dismissed and dismissed in a provacative manner. Despite the warnings of unspecified “grave consequences” if Russia’s demands are rejected, Russia has done nothing to implement any “military-technical” responses to NATO’s encroachment closer to Russian territory. To my mind, the Russian leadership is intimidated and unnerved by the potential military and economic response of the US and her NATO hangers-on.
It is obvious now that Russia cannot subdue America and her allies by military or economic means because if Russia could do this, she would have done so already. Despite initially stating that Russia would not be drawn into endless negotiations, Russia will continue to negotiate until the essence of Russian demands are watered down. Russian diplomats will of course continue warning of “grave consequences” while doing nothing to correct the perception that Russian warnings cannot be taken seriously. The so-called “Russian ultimatum” was a bluff and it has failed.
The US-led West will collapse on his own
“It is obvious now that America and her allies cannot subdue Russia by military or economic means because if America and her allies could do this, they would have done so already.”
Indeed. Or did I misunderstand something?
So neither country can subdue the other by military or economic means.
Which is just as it should be.
Yes, you got that correctly understood, but that’s nonsense.
This is typical thinking of the “colonial masters”, deeply rooted in the European-American consciousness, and therefore considered universal.
Will you provide some proof of your knowledge on how/why you believe Russia has been ‘intimidated’? From where I sit, it is Russia who holds all the cards right now, and it is the americans and nato that are intimidated. Interested in your ‘response’ to this.
I have no proof of this since I am not privy to what goes on at the highest levels of the Russian leadership. I am expressing an opinion based on available information. Russia’s demands for security guarantees have been rejected in an arrogant and insulting manner. As things stand right now, Russia cannot impose her will on the combined West as they get ever closer to Russian territory.
Furthermore, the military and ideological development of Ukraine as a rabidly anti-Russian state continues apace. The Americans continue probing Russian defences from the air, sea and underwater.. as the Virginia class submarine incident a few days ago shows. Yes, Russia has a formidable nuclear arsenal but such weapons are for deterrent purposes and cannot be used because of the potential to destroy the planet.
You may or may not agree with the opinion but I am entitled to my opinion just as you are entitled to yours. Kind regards
It’s clear to me that Russia never expected Nato to comply with her demands, but that was a necessary pre-requisite to the following military-techinical measures. Russian leaders would be totally incompetent to issue such an ultimatum unless they has a subsequent gameplan with all of the foreseeable possibilities teased out in advance. And it is clear they are far from incompetent. Patience.
It is obvious now that the US cannot subdue Russia and her allies by military or economic means because if the US could do this, it would have done so already.
But thanks for playing. These imperial psyops are so weak….
Jay, don’t be so impatient. Russia never bluffs.
As it stands now all Russian Fleets have sailed some days ago. I can verify from Sevastopol that troop and aircraft training was 24/7 for weeks. The morning the Flot sailed this all day all night racket ceased. You can read in to what I say however you want, but my opinion is Mother is ready and her entire armed forces are standing to for whatever our patently obvious adversaries come up with.
If you think you can do better, then by all means give VVP a call and advise him as to the correct methods and
actions he should take.
Auslander, dear friend,
The fleets in the Black Sea appear to make the waters a Russian lake. They possess a few hundred assorted missiles, which alone, not including missiles from land bases or air, would render the surrounding NATO playgrounds smoldering, plowed cemeteries.
Where are those brave British and US destroyers?
You made conclusions far too soon. Life is NOT video game, no matter how verbatim simulation is.
In video games (and movies), all events are compressed in time artificialy. It is done for purpouse. If not, the game would be boring, and won’t sell. Also narrative must be simplyfied, for the same reason.
In all basic parameters, real life do not resemble anything we are used to see on screen.
Sit tight, and wait for the show to begin. You won’t be disappointed. You may end up dead, though.
Well, in contrast to your position, to my mind, the Russian leadership is being overly cautious knowing full well that once a “Go!” is given then the whole game changes in a week or three, forever.
“Intimidated and unnerved by the potential military and economic response of the US and her NATO hangers-on” — I do not think so. How do you account for the mass retreat of your favorites westwards over the last few days?
Three possible reasons for the slow decision making are: (a) the war games are not yet over; (b) the Winter Olympics are not yet over in China; and (c) so much time is being taken up with coordinating the Nato poodle-rush diplomatic traffic-jam to the Kremlin these last few days.
Ha ha. Patience Grasshopper.. Slowly but surely my country falling apart from the inside out. Losing it’s legitimacy and purpose when it sold out its own people to the ruling class and it’s masters. Russia and China just need to keep applying the pressure. Helping countries and their people instead of sucking them dry with financializaton and debt.
tranquilo, no te marches del cine todavía, te cuento un chiste,(España) .
….invitan al cine a una persona de pueblo, y el no queria que descubrieran su ignorancia, se sientan y sale el leon de la MGM, el pueblerino dice rápidamente…ahh esta pelicula ya la vi….
creo que queda todavía película, segunda parte y serie de tv
traductor de Google
Calm down, don’t leave the cinema yet, I’ll tell you a joke, (Spain) .
… they invite a person from the village to the cinema, and he didn’t want them to discover his ignorance, they sit down and the MGM lion comes out, the small town says quickly … ahh I already saw this movie ….
I think there is still a movie, a second part and a tv series
Una anécdota divertida pero geopolítica no es un día en el cine.
Delusion is a powerful reason for the US belief system. However it does not last and is a poor excuse for national policy. The Russian ‘demands’ were put forward for the purpose of demonstration, and have served that purpose very well. That purpose was to illustrate to earth and heaven American hubris in full flower prior to demise. Anyone who fails to see this is too deep in delusion to reason in a rational way.
“To my mind…”
That phrase pretty much sums up your entire post. Meanwhile, the panicked responses from the West including weekend phone calls from Biden and evacuations tell their own different story.
Jay, let me offer these for your consideration.
This is as mainstream as mainstream is in Canada. While they contain all the falsehoods which have been built in the Western minds of the evil/scary Russians, it also (to my inexpert opinion) presents (considering the publication) a fairly accurate and balanced (maybe even sympathetic?) accounting of what Russia’s security demands have been, both historical and current, including allusions (those Lavrov mentions) to signed agreements. Could this not be one of the signs that the Western public is now being conditioned to the soon-to-come reality of a US/NATO pull-back, acceeding to some/all of the Russian demands, whether we (publicly) ever hear of it? Look also into the parade of “leaders” rushing to audience with Putin. Who, by these signs, appears the more in control, able to handle their opponent?
Dear friends, at one point Russia needs to realize that negotiating with the US-led West is just a waste of time. And at one point Russia needs to take some smart decisions to deter the US to back off or else. It has been long overdue. I completely understand that the West is on the brink of a financial collapse(this may be the card Russia is playing) but that thing it makes it even more dangerous, because when you have nothing to lose you just lose it.
If the Americans cannot formulate a counter-argument then Mr Lavrov’s famed zen will be once again tested.
However, the view from far away is that the Russian people are suffering a form of cognitive dissonance when they face the issue of the impossibility of friendship with the West.
Personally, my life experience – for good or ill – is that complete paralysis of action results and careers (incl. mine) will be/were ruined.
It is a horrible matter to contemplate that the American people have no mercy. They are the subhumans they accuse the Russian people of being. All very psychological.
Remember the mean streets of Leningrad.
Lavrov- We have had lots of meetings and will be holding many more. There is some positive response but nowhere near what we expect.
Shoigu- Successful training ongoing.We are ready for any action.
Military-technical responses coming up.
…To your last sentence….they do it now in the Syria …..nazdar Jiri….
As far as I can see Russia has kept her word.There was no planned invasion,as Russia said many times, and the planned exercises are coming to an end.After exercises end troops etc return. So, unlike US/ NATO there is honesty and truth.Russias has done what it said.This is real diplomacy.Additionally the Western propaganda machine is doing back spins,flips and confused as how to initially react.
What makes Jake Sullivan tick? Is he bereft of a human soul? If so, then Jake Sullivan should be called It….Or we can just call It the filthy f……g cockroach…from the bowel of Hillary Clinton….
Just keep “pricing” things in US Dollars or Euros, (not buying or selling, simply “PRICING”) and you are funding your own destruction.
You will never be rid of the clever people who use your confidence in their whimsically created out of thin air debt as a mechanism to derive their wealth from your production.
The only way to win is to stop pretending some Banksters debt note is worth your stuff.
The United States Federal Government does NOT HAVE THE MONEY TO DO ANY OF THIS STUFF.
But you Russia, you accept notes some call “currency” for the real world stuff that is made into missiles and pointed at you. You Russia have a promissory note, and the US has your titanium rocket engine, your aluminum missile tube, formed a weapon and aimed at your head.
If, from the year 2000 to today, Russia had only accepted real stuff (aka: gold historically, but could be anything that is NOT a promise) the US Government would have had to choose between keeping the US Dollar valuable or keeping weapons in Eurasia.
And, when the US Gov and Banksters again double the money supply, they will cut the value of your dollar savings in half and use the half they just tricked you out of to build another missile to aim at you
@ Carl and Jay
Carl I agree with your statement also the deal with China and Russia on the new pipe line Russia will be
paid in Euro’s that is stupid , is the Russia central Bank owned by Russia ? if not why not ? Russia should not
sell rockets engines or other items that can be used against Russia ,The over three thousands billon Anairs stolen
the Russia assets ( Yeltsin years ) have to much influence and 5th column over Russia .
Jay I agree with your thought’s but I think that Putin will not do any thing until the games in China will
be finished. so wait and see ,if nothing happens after that, i will agree with you complelly.
Also the DUMA voted to make the two republic in Ukraine independent ,let see if Putin approve ?
Lavrov’s job is done, executed efficiently, expertly, despite having to deal with airheads like Blinken & Co.
Now it’s Shoigu’s turn to pick up the baton and implement, enhance further, the necessary military technical measures that will force the hands of these spineless Euro jellyfish.
One cant help but to be concerned for Russia. Watch American media tbose people are obsessed with destroying Putin and Russia. Good example on fox business this morning the segment Maria Barfeloma interview some former politician. The insults, lies and propoganda in just 2 minutes I turned it off. I only flip through to see what’s being said. Speaking of what’s being said. So many here are convinced America is soon to collapse. How can you be so sure? I have my doubts. What if things go on as before. My concern is at some point theyll find a way to remove Putin. Some of you say Russia is waiting America out. Think America may be waiting Putin out? God forbid the day ever comes its reported Putin and his inner circle are done away with like the tsar and family. I pray the west never gets the upper hand. It’s definitely something to be concerned about.
And so the geniuses on the keyboards, gifted with perfect intellect and special knowledge, believe Russia bluffed and lost the bluff.
I pose this question: is this the first quarter, the half-time, the third quarter, the fourth or even Stoppage Time, as the silly Brits name Overtime?
Lavrov: Not quite ready to give up. One more try …
Shoigu: Look at what we fund!
Putin: Thank you.
I would say it’s the two minute warning before half-time.
Russia is acting.
The USA is reacting.
Russia is in the driving seat.