Ahead of talks between Russia and NATO over Ukraine, Moscow said that a ‘moment of truth’ was upon everyone.
The words came from Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko following Monday’s US-Russia negotiations in Geneva.
The Geneva talks have launched a week of diplomacy between Russia and the West.
The negotiations go while tens of thousands of Russian troops remain stationed along Russia-Ukraine border maintaining fears of Russian invasion against Ukraine.
Though Russia claims it does not have invasion planned, it has made amply clear that it is dead against Ukraine’s inclusion in the NATO. Ukraine was part of the erstwhile Soviet Union.
Moscow has demanded wide-ranging concessions from Washington and its NATO allies
A meeting of the NATO-Russia Council will take place in Brussels on Wednesday.
“It’s no exaggeration to say that a moment of truth is coming in our relations with the alliance;” Grushko was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.
Moscow has demanded wide-ranging security guarantees from Washington and its NATO allies and insists it has been promised that NATO would not expand eastward.
“Our expectations are entirely realistic and we hope that this will be a serious; deep conversation on key, fundamental problems of European security,” Grushko said, referring to the talks in Brussels.
He said Russia would demand a comprehensive response from the alliance to its demands.
“We will push for a concrete, substantive, article-by-article reaction to the Russian draft agreement on guarantees,” he added.
In December, Russia unveiled proposals to contain the United States and NATO in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe; saying that the US-led alliance should not admit Ukraine or Georgia as new members or establish bases in ex-Soviet countries.
After more than seven hours of negotiations in Geneva on Monday; the Russian and US officials both offered to keep talking, though there was no any breakthrough.