West ignored Russia main security concerns - Putin to Macron
The United States and NATO ignored Russia's key demands on security guarantees as the situation grows tenser over Ukraine, but Moscow will not take any action.
The US and NATO's responses to Russia's proposals for security guarantees disregarded the latter's principal concerns. However, Moscow is going to hold off from taking immediate action, President Vladimir Putin told Friday his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.
Russia had talks with the US and NATO in Geneva over each other's security concerns, and Russia sees that its demands have been ignored.
Putin and Macron spoke over the phone as NATO and the United States are trying to reach an agreement to ease tensions over Ukraine.
The west is accusing Russia of planning a military invasion of its western neighbor, but Moscow denies these allegations. At the same time, the Kremlin is asking for security guarantees from the West regarding NATO's eastward expansion.
"The US and NATO responses still do not consider Russia's principal concerns, such as prevention of NATO expansion eastward, abandoning deployment of strike systems close to the Russian borders," Putin told Macron, a Kremlin readout of the call said.
The Russian leader said the key question was ignored, highlighting the principle of the indivisibility of security in international affairs, which stipulates that no country should strengthen its security at the expense of others.
Moscow will carefully study the western responses, "After which it will decide on further actions."
Putin also stressed that NATO was backtracking its military capacity and infrastructure in Europe to the position of 1997 when the Founding Act between Moscow and Brussels was signed.
Mounting security concerns over Ukraine come as the West accuses Russia of planning an invasion of its western neighbor despite Russian dismissal.
Russia insists that it has no intention of attacking any country, and the Kremlin sees the Western accusations as a pretext to deploy more NATO military equipment close to Russia's borders.
Ball in Putin's court: West
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told RTL radio it was up to President Putin to "say if he wants confrontation or consultation," stressing that the West was "ready for consultation. But it still takes two to do it."
"Now, the ball is in Putin's court," he added.
Paris had praised Wednesday the talks between Russia and Ukraine, seeing them as a positive signal.
Paris also hailed its talks with Germany, which lead to the first written statement on the conflict in eastern Ukraine signed by Moscow and Kyiv in 2019.
The two nations agreed to preserve a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, where separatists declared breakaway regions, namely the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic and Lugansk People's Republic, and to hold fresh talks in Berlin next month.
During Russian-US talks on the situation in Ukraine, the two sides focused on infighting in Ukraine, and they stressed the necessity of Kyiv implementing a full set of measures as quickly as possible to establish a direct dialogue with the authorities of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics.
Putin reiterated Friday the Russian stance, telling Macron it was important for Ukrainian authorities to establish a direct dialogue with separatist leaders.
Taking into account the results of the meeting in Paris, the Kremlin said, "The mood for further work of Russia and France in this format was confirmed."