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WATCH: Secretary of State Antony Blinken holds a information briefing amid rigidity with Russia

WATCH: Secretary of State Antony Blinken holds a information briefing amid rigidity with Russia

MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian president on Tuesday reiterated his demand for ensures from the U.S. and its allies that NATO is not going to increase eastwards, blaming the West for “tensions which are increase in Europe.”

Watch Blinken’s remarks within the participant above.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s speech at a gathering with Russia’s prime army brass got here simply days after Moscow submitted draft safety paperwork demanding that NATO deny membership to Ukraine and different former Soviet international locations and roll again the alliance’s army deployments in Central and Jap Europe.

The calls for — contained in a proposed Russia-U.S. safety treaty and a safety settlement between Moscow and NATO — have been drafted amid hovering tensions over a Russian troop buildup close to Ukraine that has stoked fears of a attainable invasion. Russia has denied it has plans to assault its neighbor however pressed for authorized ensures that might rule out NATO enlargement and weapons deployment there.

Putin charged Tuesday that if U.S. and NATO missile techniques seem in Ukraine, it should take these missiles solely minutes to succeed in Moscow.

“For us, it’s the most critical problem — a problem to our safety,” he mentioned, including that for this reason the Kremlin wants “long-term, legally binding ensures” from the West, versus “verbal assurances, phrases and guarantees” that Moscow can’t belief.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned Washington is working with its European allies to handle what he referred to as “Russian aggression” with diplomacy however mentioned President Joe Biden opposes the type of ensures sought by Putin.

“The president has been extraordinarily clear for a lot of, a few years about some fundamental ideas that nobody is shifting again on: the precept that one nation doesn’t have the suitable to vary by power the borders of one other, that one nation doesn’t have the suitable to dictate the insurance policies of one other or to inform that that nation with whom they could affiliate,” Blinken advised reporters in Washington. “One nation doesn’t have the suitable to exert a sphere of affect. That notion ought to be relegated to the dustbin of historical past.”

Putin famous that NATO has expanded eastward for the reason that late Nineteen Nineties whereas giving assurances that Russia’s worries have been groundless.

“What is occurring now, tensions which are increase in Europe, is their (U.S. and NATO’s) fault each step of the way in which,” the Russian chief mentioned. “Russia has been compelled to reply at each step. The state of affairs stored worsening and worsening, deteriorating and deteriorating. And right here we’re at this time, in a state of affairs after we’re compelled to resolve it in some way.”

Russia’s relations with the U.S. sank to post-Chilly Battle lows after it annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 and backed a separatist insurgency in japanese Ukraine that also controls territory there. Tensions reignited in latest weeks after Moscow massed tens of hundreds of troops close to Ukraine’s border.

READ MORE: Biden pledges ‘extreme’ financial penalties for Russia if Ukraine is attacked

Putin has pressed the West for ensures that NATO is not going to increase to Ukraine or deploy its forces there and raised the difficulty throughout a video name with U.S. President Joe Biden two weeks in the past.

Russian Protection Minister Sergei Shoigu charged Tuesday that greater than 120 workers of U.S. non-public army corporations are at present working in two villages in war-torn japanese Ukraine, coaching Ukrainian troops and establishing firing positions in residential buildings and totally different services.

Putin mentioned the U.S. “ought to perceive now we have nowhere to retreat.”

“What they’re now attempting to do and plan to do at Ukraine’s territory, it’s not hundreds of kilometers away, it’s occurring proper on the doorstep of our home,” he mentioned.

Putin added that Moscow hopeds “constructive, significant talks with a visual finish outcome — and inside a sure timeframe — that might guarantee equal safety for all.”

“Armed conflicts, bloodshed just isn’t our alternative, and we don’t need such developments. We need to resolve points by political and diplomatic means,” Putin mentioned.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Karen Donfried, the highest U.S. diplomat for Europe, mentioned at a briefing Tuesday that Washington is “ready to debate these proposals that Russia placed on the desk.”

“There are some issues we’re ready to work on, and we do consider there’s benefit in having dialogue,” Donfried advised reporters after a go to to Kyiv, Moscow and Brussels.

“There are different issues in these paperwork that the Russians know will likely be unacceptable,” she added, with out specifying which of them.

Donfried mentioned bilateral U.S.-Russia conferences are prone to occur in January, and talks inside NATO-Russia Council, in addition to the Group for Safety and Cooperation in Europe, are prone to see motion in January as effectively.

NATO Secretary-Normal Jens Stoltenberg mentioned Tuesday that he intends to name a brand new assembly of the NATO-Russia Council as quickly as attainable within the New 12 months.

“Any dialogue with Russia must be based mostly on the core ideas of European safety and to handle NATO’s issues about Russia’s actions,” Stoltenberg mentioned.

On Tuesday night, Putin talked about Russia’s proposals in telephone calls with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Based on the Kremlin, Putin knowledgeable Macron about Moscow’s “diplomatic efforts on the topic,” and gave Scholz “detailed feedback” on the drafts Russia-U.S. safety treaty and a safety settlement between Russia and NATO submitted final week.

Within the dialog with Scholz, “hope was expressed that critical negotiations can be organized on all the problems raised by” Moscow, the readout mentioned.

The battle in japanese Ukraine was additionally mentioned in each telephone calls, with Putin claiming that Kyiv was reluctant to implement the Minsk agreements — a peace deal brokered by France and Germany in 2015 that helped finish large-scale hostilities within the area.

Efforts to succeed in a political settlement of the Ukraine battle, which has killed greater than 14,000 folks, have failed, nonetheless, and sporadic skirmishes have continued alongside the tense line of contact.

Related Press writers Angela Charlton in Paris and Lorne Prepare dinner in Brussels contributed to this report.

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