Moscu, 18 February 2022 (TDI): Russian President Vladimir Putin; and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov, held a working meeting, on 14 February. The objective of the meeting was to discuss the US and NATO responses to the Russian proposals.

According to Putin, those responses were on the Russian concerns regarding the security issues in Europe. The President then mentioned that their primary concern was NATO’s endless eastward expansion.

He explained that NATO’s eastward expansion aims at reaching out to former Soviet republics, including Ukraine. Lavrov explained to the President that the Ministry has been working on his instructions since mid-December.

According to Lavrov that is when Russia presented its proposals to the US and members of NATO. Lavrov then mentioned that the Ministry met a delegation of the US; and that they also held a Russia-NATO Council meeting in mid-January.

The Minister explained that during the Council with NATO, the delegation explained to the participants, the importance of their initiatives to resolve security problems in the Euro-Atlantic Region.

Lavrov then explained to Putin that US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, asked him for a separate meeting. According to Lavrov, the reason for that meeting was to clarify certain questions, so they had a meeting in Geneva.


He then added that the Ministry received a response from the United States and a response from the North Atlantic Alliance. Lavrov remarked that the Ministry paid more attention to the response of the US, as they are the main players in resolving issues for the West.

The Minister mentioned that the US response had two parts. According to Lavrov, the first part contained the response to the three major issues that they outlined. The three issues are NATO’s non-expansion; and also the non-deployment of strike weapons that are a threat to Russia.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Moreover, the last issue was the returning military and military-technical configurations in Europe to 1997 positions. Those positions were when Russia and NATO signed the Founding Act that raised the task of ensuring indivisible security for the first time.

Lavrov explained that the responses were negative for Russia. That was because the US responded that the right of a state to choose unions and join or replace them overrides everything else and is not a subject for discussion.


Lavrov then expressed the desire of the Ministry to remind the US that the right to choose unions is not unconditional. To sustain his argument he used the  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.

According to these declarations; the right to enter organizations is directly conditioned by other points that were supported as a package consensus. The second package of that consensus says that each state’s right to choose alliances is limited by its commitments not to enhance its security at the expense of any other state.

Lavrov also remarked on another important point, which is that no country, no organization can dominate in the OSCE space. He then added that the Ministry sent a special address to draw the attention 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.

He remarked to the Russian President that their Western colleagues assured them that will not happen any time soon.


Lavrov told the President that he received two small papers in response to their petitions. 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.

Russian President Vladimir Putin during his meeting with the Foreign Affairs Minister, Sergei Lavrov
Russian President Vladimir Putin during his meeting with the Foreign Affairs Minister, Sergei Lavrov

According to Lavrov, the messages were that don’t worry, the dialogue must continue; the main thing you need to do is to ensure de-escalation around Ukraine. He then added that the Ministry will continue to seek a concrete response from each country.

That is because all the reported documents during the meeting were signed under national status. That means that the responsibility for their content and the commitments under these documents must be accounted for at the national level.


Lavrov said that the second part was a little more constructive. According to Lavrov, that part envisaged specific measures to address the problems of land-based shorter and intermediate-range missiles after the US discarded the treaty.

He then added that part also contained specific proposals on a range of measures. Those measures were to reduce military risks, confidence-building measures, and military transparency.

Lavrov remarked that most of the components that the US included in their response reflect Russian initiatives. The Russian address in September 2020, in regards to shorter and intermediate-range missiles, didn’t receive a response.

There the Russian President proposed agreeing on reciprocal and mutually verifiable moratoriums on the deployment of these types of weapons in Europe. Lavrov also mentioned that they sent proposals to NATO like measures to move military exercises away from the line of contact between Russia and NATO.

Other measures that they included were that agreement on a minimum distance for the rapprochement of military aircraft and warships; as well as several other military-technical confidence-building measures.


The Minister also mentioned that the other side is willing to enter negotiations. He then added that they stated clear their initiative on European security, on security guarantees that they put forward.

He considered this to represent progress, by maintaining an integrated approach. Lavrov remarked that this approach is broader than reaching some specific agreements on industry-specific, isolated, secondary aspects of maintaining military security.

Lavrov informed the Russian President that they will continue to developing a dialogue on some aspects that are of practical importance. That will be towards the Western colleagues particularly the US.

He also informed that they will continue to seek their responses regarding the raised and confirmed concerns. Lavrov expressed his content towards the description of the potential for drawing Ukraine into NATO under these conditions, considering Kiev’s ambitions.


Lavrov also told the President that there still a chance of coming into terms instead of being in an endless round of negotiations. During the past few days, the President has met the leaders of the US, France, Germany, Poland and Italy.

Finally, the Minister stated that Russia is committed to listen to the counter arguments, and to be heard.