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Russia says US vowed to provide response to demands of security guarantees 'next week'

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov shake hands before their meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, on January 21, 2022. (Photo by AFP)

Russia says the United States has promised to provide the Kremlin with a written response to its security demands, after "frank" talks between Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Geneva, Switzerland.

After the talks on the crisis over Ukraine, Lavrov said on Friday that they "ended up with an agreement that we will receive written responses to all our proposals next week."

After receiving the US response to its demands, according to Lavrov, another diplomatic meeting would be held "on our level."

Lavrov said that the talks with Blinken had been "frank."

"Antony Blinken agreed that we need to have a reasonable dialogue, and I hope emotions will decrease," he added.

In mid-December, Russia spelled out an array of security guarantees that it said it wanted Washington and its NATO allies to commit to, in an attempt to defuse the escalation of tensions over Ukraine.

The Kremlin has repeatedly reiterated its demand for security guarantees — including a permanent ban on Ukraine joining NATO — to be taken seriously, but Washington has not responded yet.

The US, its NATO allies, and Ukraine have accused Moscow of amassing troops near Ukraine's border for a possible invasion. Russia has said there is no such plan.

Lavrov said on Friday that Moscow had "never" threatened "the Ukrainian people" but it was concerned "not about imaginary threats but about real facts," including the sending of Western arms and military instructors to Ukraine.

The US, however, kept threatening Russia with "sever costs" in the event of military action against Ukraine. President Joe Biden said on Thursday that "a disaster" would befall Moscow if President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine.

Russia said in response that the threats would not help defuse the rising tensions. It said Washington was involved in aggressive moves in the Black Sea, where Ukraine and the US have held military drills recently.


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