A source reports Moscow made its demands very clear to the American side to avoid any misconceptions
Russia used the talks in Geneva on Monday to carefully lay out its concerns on European security to the American negotiators, a source close to Moscow's team told local media.
On Tuesday, RIA Novosti quoted an unnamed official as saying that "during the discussions, the Russian delegation 'spoon-fed' its proposals for a stable continent, to avoid 'misunderstandings.'"
The insider also stressed that Moscow needs, first and foremost, a concrete guarantee ruling out further NATO expansion, noting that "evasion is not interesting [to us]." They also highlighted what they described as America's "firm stance" on Ukraine, adding that their counterparts made it clear that without Kiev present, they would not "discuss the topic of its accession to NATO."
However, there is no need for Washington to defer the issue to others, the source insisted, saying that "it makes sense to come to a direct agreement," to avoid military threats spiraling out of control.
The remarks come after Russian and American diplomats held consultations over strategic stability on the European continent at the US Mission to the UN Office in Geneva on Monday. Representatives held preliminary discussions during a working dinner the evening before.
Its main focus was a proposal Moscow sent to Washington last month, which requested an end to NATO's military presence across much of Eastern Europe. One article demands that Kiev's long-term efforts to join the bloc be rejected, as well as banning NATO troops from any joint military activity on Ukrainian territory, and in other Eastern European, Transcaucasian, and Central Asian states.
Speaking to journalists at a separate event on Monday, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said that the American side is willing to discuss the placement of its missiles in Europe and the size and scope of NATO military exercises on the continent, but would not entertain attempts to stymie the bloc's growth.
"We will not allow anyone to slam closed NATO's open-door policy," she said. "One country cannot... dictate the terms of another country's foreign policy, or forbid other countries from choosing its own alliances."
Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told reporters "it's absolutely mandatory to make sure that Ukraine never ever becomes a member of NATO." According to the diplomat, initial talks with Sherman were difficult, but professional in tone. Moscow will meet with leaders from the bloc on Wednesday.