A Russian delegation, headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko, arrived at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels to attend the Russia-NATO Council meeting. This is the first such meeting in two years.
According to TASS, before the beginning of the meeting Grushko shook hands with the leader of the American delegation, Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman, and with the rest of the participants in the meeting – NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the permanent representatives of 30 NATO countries – according to new rules that appeared during the pandemic, a fistfistfight.
Grushko told RIA Novosti earlier that Russia is going to the meeting “with absolutely realistic expectations and the hope that it will still be a serious, deep conversation on the key, fundamental problems of European security.” “We are aimed at achieving results in the form of both the negotiation process itself and the agreements about which we have informed in advance in terms of the statement of our position, I see no reason for alarm,” said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, for her part.
Sergey Ryabkov, who headed the Russian delegation at the talks with the U.S. in Geneva, reminded about the key issue: Russia insists that the alliance does not accept new members and renounced its intention to accept Ukraine and Georgia, voiced at the summit in Bucharest in 2008. In addition, Moscow demands that NATO not deploy any weapons near our borders that could hit targets on Russian territory and refrain from threatening Russia with logistical development of the territories of the countries that have joined the alliance since the signing of the Russia-NATO Founding Act in 1997. So far, the U.S. side has strongly objected to both the non-expansion of NATO and the renunciation of the deployment of strike weapons and a return to the 1997 situation.