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Russia's President Vladimir Putin during a video conference meeting on the COVID-19 cornavirus situation in Russia, at Novo-Ogaryovo residence. Alexei Druzhinin/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS

In their responses to the Russian proposals on security guarantees, the US and NATO ignored Moscow’s fundamental demands, President Vladimir Putin told a news conference following talks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

The president said they had substantially exchanged opinions regarding proposals on giving Russia long-term legal guarantees of security from the West.

“Let me note that we are closely analyzing the written responses received from the US and NATO on January 26. However, it is already clear, and I informed Mr. Prime Minister about it, that the fundamental Russian concerns were ignored,” Putin said. He explained that Moscow had seen no adequate response to three key demands – preventing NATO’s expansion, non-deployment of strike weapons systems near Russian borders and returning the military infrastructure of NATO in Europe to the positions existing in 1997 when the Russia-NATO Founding Act was signed.

“At the same time, ignoring our concerns, the US and NATO generally refer to the right of the states to freely choose ways to ensure their security. But this is not just about giving somebody the right to freely choose how to ensure their security,” Putin emphasized. This is only one part of the well-known principle of the indivisibility of security, he reiterated. “The second inalienable part says that no one should be allowed to strengthen their security at the expense of the security of the other states,” the president stressed.

Besides, while considering international issues, the Russian president and the Hungarian prime minister discussed the current state of things in relations between Russia and the European Union. In conclusion, Putin expressed gratitude to Viktor Orban for productive joint work. “I am confident that the results of our talks will help to further strengthen Russian-Hungarian multifaceted partnership,” he said.