Washington [US], January 11 (ANI/Sputnik): US Ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith said on Tuesday that there is not much room for compromise with Russia on the issue of the military alliance's expansion.
"Frankly, I don't see a lot of compromise," Smith said in an interview with CNN regarding Russia's concerns about NATO's further expansion into Eastern Europe.
On Monday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said Russia needs firm legally-binding guarantees that Ukraine and Georgia will never become members of NATO. He added that this issue is a matter of Russia's national security.
Smith said there is currently no option on the table to halt the expansion of NATO and the door remains open for other countries to join. Any decision about membership is for the alliance and the country in question to decide, she added.
Talks among NATO representatives, member states and Russian officials will take place in Brussels on Wednesday to address Moscow's concerns about the alliance's expansion eastward and the alleged threat that Russia may invade Ukraine.
Smith said all the parties are currently "committed to dialogue" to resolve their issues. She said Wednesday's meeting is expected to address the ongoing talks about placing some reciprocal limits on military exercises and missile placements in Eastern Europe.
On Monday, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman led a US delegation in Geneva at the meeting with their Russian counterparts to discuss the pressing issues at hand, including US missile placements in Europe. (ANI/Sputnik)