“If our proposals are rejected when that happens … If that happens, I will be less pessimistic, we will, of course, assess the situation and report to the President,” the minister said.
“He told a major news conference that we would then make a decision, taking all factors into account, first and foremost in the interests of ensuring our security interests properly,” Lavrov explained.
“I will not take a foretaste on how our colleagues in the West are trying to do it now. I think it is counterproductive. It is important for us to get a specific answer or counter-proposals if you want to,” the minister said.
If, after receiving a response from the US and NATO, “it will be clear that it makes sense to resume talks”, the issue of not extending the alliance to the east will be a key issue, he added.
Russia has forced the West to sit down at a negotiating table, concentrating a troop of 100,000 men on Ukraine’s borders, raising fears of a new invasion of a neighboring country.
In December, Moscow issued an ultimatum to the West demanding a halt to NATO’s further expansion to the east and the dismantling of the Alliance’s infrastructure in the so-called new member states, restoring the status quo on 27 May 1997, before NATO’s first enlargement.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has threatened that if Moscow does not receive the “security guarantees” he has demanded, he will have to take “military technical measures”.
The United States and other NATO members have stated that these demands are unacceptable and not even negotiable, but have shown readiness to talk about arms control, missile deployment and confidence-building measures.