Dec 18, 2021 - World

Russian envoy warns of security measures if NATO dismisses demands

Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov speaks at a meeting of the board of trustees of the Russian International Affairs Council at the Ritz Carlton Hotel.
Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov speaks at a meeting of the board of trustees of the Russian International Affairs Council at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. Photo: Gavriil Grigorov/TASS

Russia may take new measures to bolster security if the U.S. takes aggressive action and ignores requests ruling out NATO's eastward expansion into Ukraine, a senior diplomat said Saturday, AP reports.

Driving the news: Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Saturday that Western allies are "extending the limits of what’s possible" regarding relations with Russia, per AP.

  • Ryabkov also warned that Moscow would "take care of our security and act in a way similar to NATO’s logic" if the organization doesn't take Russia's demands seriously.
  • He didn't specify what actions Russia may take if the West rejects its demands, per AP.

The big picture: Ryabkov's remarks come one day after the Russian government released a draft of a new treaty proposal with NATO that would rule out eastward expansion and all military activity in former Soviet republics, Axios' Zachary Basu reports.

  • The proposal also demands that the U.S. and NATO do not cooperate with former Soviet states, including Ukraine and other Eastern European countries.
  • The treaty proposal comes as the threat of Russian invasion over Europe looms, and as the U.S. and other NATO allies have increased their military presence and activities in the alliance's "eastern flank."

What he's saying: "We don’t want a conflict. We want to reach an agreement on a reasonable basis," Ryabkov said.

  • "Before making any conclusions what to do next and what steps could be taken, we need to make sure that the answer is negative. I hope that the answer will be relatively constructive and we engage in talks."

Go deeper: U.S. to consider Russia's NATO proposal, but calls some demands "unacceptable"

Go deeper