US Says Talks With Russia on Security Guarantees Could Start in January

Russia is eager to negotiate its proposals

A US State Department official said Tuesday that bilateral talks between the US and Russia to discuss Moscow’s security proposals could begin in January.

“We will decide on a date together with Russia, and we believe that that will take place in January,” Karen Donfried, the assistant secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, told reporters.

Russia submitted its proposals to the US last week amid heightened tensions surrounding Ukraine. Moscow is seeking several guarantees, including one that NATO won’t expand further eastward. Russia is also looking for mutual agreements on the deployment of military assets in areas each side deems a threat and the deployment of nuclear weapons in the region.

Donfried said the US was ready to negotiate the proposals, although she said some were “unacceptable” without specifying further. “There are some things we’re prepared to work on, and we do believe there is merit in having discussion,” she said. “There are other things in those documents that the Russians know will be unacceptable.”

Also on Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated his call for the security guarantees and blamed the US and NATO for “tensions that are building up in Europe.”

Putin stressed the importance of Russia’s demand that the US and NATO don’t deploy missiles to Ukraine that could strike Moscow. “For us, it is the most serious challenge — a challenge to our security,” he said. Putin added that Russia wants “long-term, legally binding guarantees” instead of verbal assurances.

Putin also said if the Western powers don’t negotiate the security guarantees and continue expanding eastward, Russia would respond with “appropriate retaliatory military-technical measures.”

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.