Moscow: Our initiative calls for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Bulgaria and Romania

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced that the security guarantees initiative proposed by Moscow calls for the withdrawal of foreign troops, weapons and military equipment from Bulgaria and Romania.

In response to a question about what it means for these two countries, Moscow’s request for NATO to return to the balance of power in Europe, which was in 1997, Lavrov indicated that “there is talk of one of the main elements of the Russian initiative, and therefore this idea was formulated with the greatest degree of clarity to avoid any difference in its interpretation”, in the statements published on Friday. by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

“realistic view”

He also added: “There is talk of the withdrawal of foreign forces, equipment and the army and other steps aimed at returning to the situation it was in 1997 in the territories of countries that were not members of NATO at the time, including Bulgaria and Romania. “

Lavrov also stressed that the proposals put forward by Moscow represent a “realistic vision of how to guarantee the long-term security of Europe and create conditions for a peaceful coexistence between Russia and the West”.

And he added: “in the current circumstances, this is perhaps the only way to strengthen public security on the continent without compromising the security of specific regional states”.

It hasn’t started yet

He also pointed out that the negotiation process between Moscow and the West on the Security Guarantees Initiative has almost not yet begun.

He continued: “We hope that our Western colleagues will keep their promises made in Geneva and Brussels on 10 and 12 January and we expect the United States and NATO to respond in writing to the Russian initiative.”

legitimate interests

Lavrov also considered that the West, not Russia, is the one who follows the strategy of dividing the world in double “spheres of influence” and practice standard in many issues, underlining that “Russia, like the United States and other countries, has legitimate interests, especially in the field of security A state that we cannot but respond to the emergence of military challenges and threats, especially of a military and technical-military nature .

He also stressed that Russia acts exclusively within the framework of international law and it is not necessary to interpret its actions as an attempt to form its own “sphere of influence” in Europe.

Meet Blinken

These statements come before US and Russian foreign ministers met Friday in Geneva for a few hours in their latest attempt to defuse the Ukrainian crisis, as Washington suspects Moscow intends to invade its neighbor despite threats of stringent responses if this happens.

The meeting between Sergey Lavrov and Anthony Blinken also takes place in a building overlooking Lake Geneva, the last stage of an intense diplomatic process that began 11 days ago in Geneva among their collaborators.

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