(Moscow) The Russian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday evening announced that the US ambassador to Russia had handed over Washington’s response to Russia’s request for withdrawal from NATO from Eastern Europe amid the Ukrainian crisis.
Released at 12:51 p.m.
The US ambassador, John Sullivan, told Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Khrushchev that the US administration had “given a written response to the draft bilateral agreement on security guarantees previously issued by Russia.”
Washington’s response to Moscow offered “a radical diplomatic approach if Russia so desired,” US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken reiterated in a message to Moscow that “Ukraine can choose its allies.” He said he was ready to meet with Russian Prime Minister Sergei Lavrov in the coming days.
“We have made it clear that we are committed to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and to ensuring that states maintain their own security arrangements and the right to choose alliances,” the US Secretary of State told reporters.
Meanwhile, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced a press conference at EST at 1pm, and the same sources said he would respond to the coalition on this occasion.
According to Washington, the possibility of Russian military incursion into Ukraine is high because tens of thousands of soldiers have been stationed on the Ukrainian border for weeks.
The Kremlin denies any form of warfare, but extends the agreements that guarantee NATO will not expand and the conditions for practically withdrawing from the alliance in Eastern Europe. Westerners say that is unacceptable.
Nevertheless, Washington promised a written response to Russia’s demands.
When the document was delivered to Moscow, a meeting between Russian, Ukrainian, French and German negotiators was taking place in Paris and a speech by US Secretary of State Anthony Blingen was expected in Washington.
Earlier on Wednesday, the US embassy in Kiev “forced” US citizens in Ukraine to leave the country without delay due to the “increased” threat of a Russian invasion.
Eastern Ukraine has been embroiled in a war between Kiev forces and pro-Russian separatists since 2014, the same year Russia is widely seen as a military and financial supporter of the annexation of the Crimean peninsula.