Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday Russia's proposal on signing legally binding security guarantees is not an ultimatum but an attempt to ease tensions through political and diplomatic means.
Moscow is "extremely concerned" that elements of the US global missile defense are being deployed near Russia, Putin told a meeting of the Russian Defense Ministry Board.
If the US and NATO missile systems appear in Ukraine, their flight time to Moscow will be seven to 10 minutes, and if they use hypersonic weapons, up to five minutes, which is "a serious challenge" to Russia's security, he added.
"We see that some of our detractors interpret them (draft agreements that Russia sent to the leadership of the US and NATO on the issue of ensuring strategic stability) as an ultimatum from Russia. Is this an ultimatum or not? Of course not.
"We want to resolve issues by political and diplomatic means, and to have clear, understandable, and accurately stated legal guarantees. That is the meaning of our proposals, put on paper and sent to Brussels and Washington. And we hope to get a clear, comprehensive answer to them," noted Putin.
There are some signals that the other side is ready to discuss Russia's proposal but there is also a risk that any attempt to stall the talks may be made, and to implement the plans during the pause, the president added.
"To make it clear to everyone, we understand this. And such a turn, such a development of events, of course, will not suit us. We hope for constructive, meaningful negotiations, with a visible, and in a certain time, end result that will ensure equal security for everyone. This is what we will strive for," he said.
However, to achieve the goal is only possible in case of further development of the armed forces, he said.
Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin called on NATO to start talks aiming to provide Russia with reliable, legally binding, and long-term security guarantees.
On Dec. 15, Yury Ushakov, the presidential advisor on foreign policy issues, announced Russia handed the draft of its proposals to the US and NATO, and two days later the Russian Foreign Ministry published the text of the draft agreements, suggested by Russia.
However, Moscow has not yet received any response to its proposal, according to top Russian officials.