Russia expelled the deputy head of the mission at the US Embassy in Moscow, in what the US called “an escalation”.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has demanded that Russia’s core security issues be resolved first in any negotiations with the United States and NATO before other security issues can be resolved.

In a press conference after meeting his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio in Moscow, Lavrov said that, for example, any agreement to limit and halt the deployment of short- and long-range missiles in Europe Europe or mitigating military-related military risks. the exercises will not be resolved “until we agree on our key positions.”

“It is NATO’s failure to expand to the East, not deploying offensive weapons, and respecting the military and political configuration at the time of signing the founding act between Russia and NATO,” Lavrov listed as a requirement. core demand.

His comments came after Russian President Vladimir Putin, during a press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Tuesday, reiterated that the US and NATO had failed to satisfy Russia’s security concerns.

“The reactions we have received from the United States and NATO members to the proposals for security guarantees, in our opinion, do not meet the three basic requirements of Russia mentioned above,” Putin said. speak. “The responses provided included a number of proposals that we are not only open to discussion, but we have, in fact, proposed them to our partners in previous years: proposals for European security issues, on certain weapons issues, such as medium- and short-range missiles, and on military transparency.”

“We are ready to continue this joint work further. We are also ready to go down the line of negotiations, but all issues must be considered as a whole, not separately from the main Russian proposals. Executing that is an unconditional priority for us,” said Putin.

Mr. Lavrov took it a step further on Thursday, saying: “Our priority is not to see the individual issues removed from the package of measures and then declare that we have resolved all the problems. problem.”

“We noted in the second part of the American response to our initiative that it was ready to discuss and find an agreement on the issues we raised,” Lavrov said. Exporting with NATO colleagues has been urgent in the past few years.

“They have avoided these problems in many ways. I mean an agreement to limit and halt the deployment of short- and long-range land-based missiles in Europe, restricting the placement of other offensive weapons in areas where they pose a threat. security, reaching specific agreements when it comes to trust measures. to reduce the military risks associated with the military exercises of both sides, including the air force and navy,” he said.

Earlier this week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken “reiterated the US commitment to continue to pursue a diplomatic solution to the crisis that Moscow has caused”.

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