Russia: 'Little Ground for Optimism' in Written Response to US (Dreamstime)
By Eric Mack | Monday, 31 January 2022 07:49 PM
Russia has issued an undisclosed written response to the United States after the Biden administration had also delivered written responses to Moscow's demands amid the standoff with Ukraine.
The Russian response offered "little ground for optimism" and "no positive response on the main issue," according to Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, The Hill reported.
The main issue has been, according to reports, Russia's seeking to keep Ukraine from being given entry into NATO.
"We can confirm we received a written follow-up from Russia," the State Department wrote in a statement. "It would be unproductive to negotiate in public, so we'll leave it up to Russia if they want to discuss their response.
"We remain fully committed to dialog to address these issues and will continue to consult closely with our allies and partners, including Ukraine," the spokesperson added.
Russia's written response comes before Tuesday's phone call between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, The Washington Post reported.
The call will come just one week after Lavrov noted the negotiations will not be "endless."
"We won't allow our proposals to be drowned in endless discussions," Lavrov said last week, according to reports.
For its part, Ukraine has publicly asked President Joe Biden and U.S. allies to stop suggesting a Russian invasion was imminent or even likely, including saying the "destabilizing" remarks are harming the Ukraine currency and damaging its economy on mere hyperbole.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki responded to those remarks at Monday's daily press briefing.
"Well, I can only speak for our intention and our responsibility, and we feel it's important to be open and candid about the threat from Russia," Psaki told reporters. "It's not just words, of course. You are seeing specifics that we've been laying out here, including over 100,000 troops on Ukraine's borders, amassed on the border, with more troops and weaponry on the way. They've also been surging troops into Belarus.
"Of the seriousness of this threat, even as we work with the Ukrainians, with the Europeans to ensure we are not only preparing them and providing them supplies that they need, but standing up and making clear to the Russians what the consequences will be," she added.
Psaki said the "power and ability to de-escalate" rests solely with Russia.
"Now again, Russia has the power," she said. "They are the aggressor here. They have the power and ability to de-escalate, to pull their troops back from the border, to not push more troops to Belarus, to take steps to de-escalate the situation on the ground."