The Russian Foreign Ministry has published the text of Moscow's written reaction to USA's response on security guarantees.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced earlier that the Russian side was completing the analysis of the US letter and was ready to publish a reaction to it.
In the document, the Russian side has once again denied numerous reports that come from Western and Ukrainian media about Russia's alleged preparations for an invasion of Ukraine.
"There is no "Russian invasion” of Ukraine, which the United States and its allies have been declaring at the official level since last fall, and it is not planned. Therefore, the statements about "Russia's responsibility for the escalation” can only be regarded as part of pressure to devalue Russia's proposals for guarantees security," the document published by the Foreign Ministry of Russia said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry also denied accusations of the illegal occupation of Crimea and recalled that the annexation of the peninsula took place as a result of a referendum in accordance with the right to self-determination enshrined in the UN Charter. The Russian authorities believe that the allegations that US officials make about Russia's efforts to escalate the conflict in Donbass do not hold water. The reasons for the conflict in Ukraine are purely domestic in nature, the statement said.
In order to resolve the conflict in Ukraine, Russia proposes to engage in the implementation of the Minsk agreements and the "Package of Measures", the sequence and responsibility for the implementation of which are clearly regulated in the UN Security Council Resolution 2022 — including by the United States, France and Great Britain.
"Paragraph 2 of this resolution name Kiev, Donetsk and Luhansk as the parties to the conflict. None of these documents mentions Russia's responsibility for the conflict in the Donbass. Russia, together with the OSCE, plays the role of a mediator in the main negotiating format — the Contact Group — and together with Berlin and Paris — in the Normandy format, which formulates recommendations to the parties to the conflict and monitors their implementation," the Foreign Ministry said.
In addition, the Foreign Ministry insists that Ukraine should not become a member of the North Atlantic Alliance.
"There will be a real threat that the regime in Kiev will try to 'return' Crimea by force."
In this case, Russia, the US and NATO allies will find themselves involved in a war.
Moscow invites the United States to start a dialogue on the adoption of a new "security equation".
Earlier, the United States, in its response to Russia's proposals on security guarantees, noted that the parties should work to develop the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (START, or START-3) and the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty).
"However, the American side is trying to establish an approach that has not been coordinated with us. In this approach, they focus exclusively on nuclear weapons, regardless of the ability of certain weapons to pose a direct threat to the national territory of the other party,” Moscow objected.
Russia insists the United States should withdraw all American troops and weapons from Central, Eastern, Southeastern Europe, as well as from the Baltic region. The document also calls on Washington to refrain from deploying nuclear weapons outside national territories.
"NATO's open door policy runs counter to the basic commitments within the CSCE/OSCE, most notably to the commitment not to strengthen its security at the expense of the security of others," the Russian statement says.
Moscow will be forced to take military measures if Washington refuses to conduct dialogue and conclude legal security guarantees, the document stressed. Since Russia's red lines are already being ignored, Moscow is ready to take serious steps to protect its national interests.
The Ukrainian military, who left the territory of the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, declared their desire to negotiate