Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said that Moscow's demands for "security guarantees" are not a bluff.
"The issue is urgent, the escalation is serious, the problems are big. We must put an end to the advance of NATO, NATO infrastructure, NATO capabilities further to the east. We must eliminate the possibility of Ukraine's accession to NATO," Ryabkov said in an interview with the magazine "The International Affairs”.
He also pointed out that Russia demands an official withdrawal of the decision of the 2008 Bucharest summit that Ukraine and Georgia would become members of NATO.
"We're not the only ones saying that. We say that further expansion of NATO should be ruled out in principle. When we say that NATO's infrastructure and all sorts of activities that are provocative towards Russia should be "rolled back" to the positions that existed at the time of the signing of the NATO-Russia Founding Act in 1997, that we are not bluffing. This is our real demand. This understanding must be implemented by all means, and we will deal with this," Ryabkov said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has published proposed draft agreements on measures to ensure the security of the Russian Federation. One of the requirements is the non-inclusion of Ukraine in the Alliance.
The United States and NATO announced their readiness to negotiate with Russia on security issues.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that negotiations with Washington on "security guarantees" will take place a day before the Russia-NATO summit.