The United States handed over its written response to Russia’s security demands Wednesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
“[Ambassador John] Sullivan delivered our written response in Moscow,” Blinken said during a press conference. “All told, it sets out a serious diplomatic path forward should Russia choose it. The document we’ve delivered includes concerns of United States and our allies and partners about Russia’s actions that undermine security, a principled and pragmatic evaluation of the concerns that Russia has raised, and our own proposals for areas where we may be able to find common ground.”
Russia’s Foreign Ministry announced just prior to Blinken’s comment that the written response had been delivered. (RELATED: Russia Threatens ‘Appropriate Measures’ If West Doesn’t Give ‘Constructive Answer’ On Security Demands)
Blinken declined to comment on specifics of the written response and said the U.S. would not make the document public. He expressed hope that Russia would also keep it private.
“We made clear that there are core principles that we are committed to uphold and defend, including Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and the right of states to choose their own security arrangements and alliances,” Blinken said.
“We’ve addressed the possibility of reciprocal transparency measures regarding force posture in Ukraine, as well as measures to increase confidence regarding military exercises and maneuvers in Europe,” he continued. “And we address other areas where we see potential for progress, including arms control related to missiles in Europe, our interest in a follow-on agreement to the New Start Treaty that covers all nuclear weapons and waste increase transparency [and] instability.”
Blinken said the ideas put forth by the U.S. are ones that could “enhance” security and also “address Russia’s stated concerns.” Still, the secretary of state warned that “we are fully prepared off on a moment’s notice to reinforce NATO’s [North Atlantic Treaty Organization] eastern flank in the event of renewed Russian aggression” regarding Ukraine.
President Joe Biden was “intimately involved” in developing the document, according to Blinken. Allies and partners also played a role.
He told reporters that the U.S. “will uphold the principle of NATO’s open door,” calling it “a commitment that we’re bound to.”
“The ball’s in their court,” Blinken declared to end the press conference. “We’re prepared either way.”