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Sergei Lavrov (Photo Credit: Mikhail Tereshchenko/TASS)

The United States has promised Russia that it will provide its replies to security guarantee proposals this week. Moscow will not let the West downplay this initiative and brush it under the carpet during endless discussions, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the State Duma on Wednesday.

“Depending on the contents of that reply we and our colleagues from other agencies will draft our proposals addressed to President Vladimir Putin regarding further steps. There is a distinct trend towards downplaying our proposals and brushing them under the carpet in endless discussions. In particular, this concerns the attempts to dump this issue onto the OSCE and the insistent calls by the European Union for finding a place for it in these discussions. We will not let this happen. We will not let them emasculate our initiative,” Lavrov said.

He stressed that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at a meeting in Geneva on January 21 promised that Washington would hand to Moscow its item-by-item replies explaining the US stance in writing already this week.

As a result of Lavrov-Blinken talks in Geneva Washington agreed to reply to Moscow’s security guarantee proposals in writing. Another meeting between Lavrov and Blinken is due. Lavrov told a news conference after the talks that it would be correct to make Washington’s answers public, adding that he would ask Blinken for consent.

The Russian Foreign Ministry on December 17 published Russia’s drafts of security guarantee agreements Moscow expects Washington and NATO to conclude. The two proposed treaties – with the United States and NATO – envisage, among other things, NATO’s pledge to refrain from expansion to the east, including the abrogation of plans for admitting Ukraine to the alliance, and also restrictions on the deployment of major attack weapons, including nuclear ones