Foreign Minister Lavrov pointed out that the U.S. and NATO responses to Moscow's security proposals give grounds for the start of a discussion, but on secondary issues.
On Thursday, Deputy Chairman of Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev pointed out that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the United States are using Ukraine to gain geopolitical leverage.
"Ukraine, unfortunately, has turned, to some extent, into a toy in the hands of NATO and the United States, as Ukraine is used as a geopolitical instrument to exert pressure on Russia," Medvedev said, adding that neither the U.S. nor Europe "needs" Ukraine.
Noting that the possibility of a direct clash between Russia and NATO over Ukraine would end up being "catastrophic," the official hoped it would be possible to ease tensions in the foreseeable future.
Medvedev pointed out that Moscow was never opposed to the involvement of the United States in negotiations around Ukraine, but Washington was currently creating problems by trying to influence Kiev.
On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov pointed out that the recent responses presented by the U.S. and the NATO to Moscow's security proposals give grounds for the start of a discussion, but on secondary issues.
"As for the content of the document, there is a reaction there, which allows us to count on the beginning of a serious conversation, however on secondary issues," Lavrov said, adding that the responses did not contain a positive reaction to the main issue outlined in the original document.
The main issue for Moscow is the "inadmissibility of NATO's further expansion to the East" and the deployment of strike weapons that would threaten Russia's security. Moscow would consider both the NATO and U.S. responses together, and following an interdepartmental review, Russian President Vladimir Putin would make a decision on further steps.