US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman stated yesterday following the Russia-US Strategic Stability Dialogue (SSD) that the US ‘will not allow anyone to slam closed NATO's open door policy,’ adding that the policy has ‘always been central to the NATO Alliance.’
We will not forego bilateral cooperation with sovereign states that wish to work with the US and we will not make decisions about Ukraine without Ukraine, about Europe without Europe, or about NATO without NATO,” said Sherman.
Sherman also underscored that during the SSD the US ‘made it clear’ that if Russia continues to invade Ukraine, ‘there will be significant costs and consequences well beyond what they faced in 2014.’
She also spoke of the conversations which she had with various state officials including Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani prior to the SSD, adding that ‘we are lashed up at every level with our allies and partners.’
The extraordinary session of the bilateral Strategic Stability Dialogue is now underway in Geneva. The U.S. will listen to Russia’s concerns and share our own, but we have been clear we will not discuss European security without our Allies and partners. pic.twitter.com/QkYlu1HdhU— Wendy R. Sherman (@DeputySecState) January 10, 2022
Sherman reiterated America’s unwavering support for Georgia’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders during the phone conversation with Zalkaliani.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov after the SSD demanded ‘concrete guarantees’ that ‘Ukraine and Georgia will never become NATO members,’ noting that ‘this is a matter of Russia's national security.’
We don't trust the other side. We need reinforced concrete and legally significant guarantees, not promises, but guarantees,” said Ryabkov.
The Russian Foreign Ministry put forward two proposals on ‘security guarantees’ between Russia, the US and NATO on December 17, which include restrictions on troop, ship, and aircraft deployments for both NATO and Russia, as well limits to the deployment of intermediate and short-range missiles abroad while on December 10 Russia released a statement demanding NATO member states rescind the 2008 Bucharest Summit declaration supporting Georgia and Ukraine's goal of becoming members of the alliance.
The SSD took place yesterday in Geneva which will be followed by a NATO-Russia council meeting scheduled for January 12 in Brussels, and the OSCE Permanent Council meeting in Vienna on January 13.