Russian President Vladimir Putin, December 17, 2021 in Moscow (SPUTNIK / Mikhail METZEL)
Russia on Friday announced plans to tighten US and NATO influence in its vicinity, which the United States says it is ready to discuss with Europeans.
The documents were released in the wake of growing Russian-Western tensions around Russia’s neighbor Ukraine. Americans and Europeans accuse Moscow of preparing for a military offensive.
Responding to the proposals, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, “Without our European allies and partners, there would be no discussion of European security.”
A senior U.S. official told reporters that the United States is “ready to discuss” these documents, even if it understands “some things that the Russians cannot accept.”
But “if there is one more occupation in Ukraine, it will have massive, massive consequences, and it will be very costly,” said an unnamed senior official.
Two texts presented by Moscow on Friday specifically address the issue of NATO’s expansion and the ban on US military bases in the former Soviet space.
It is unusual for diplomats to present this type of work in public.
White House Spokeswoman Jen Socky, December 14, 2021 in Washington (AFP / Alex Edelman)
“Security guarantees for Russia need to be written on paper and have the force of law,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Rybkov told the Associated Press.
He also proposed that talks begin on “Saturday, December 18”, which he hoped would take place in Geneva.
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A senior U.S. official said the documents were “unacceptable, although the Russians understood some of the things they knew” and were “ready to discuss.” Discussions, after consultation with their European allies.
“We are wondering how to do this so that the countries concerned are at the negotiating table,” he explained.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryapkov arrives in Moscow in January 2019 (AFP / Vasily MAXIMOV)
The two documents consist of nine and eight articles, respectively, and the last four pages each.
Mr. According to Ryapko, they need to re-establish Russian-Western cooperation in the face of NATO’s policy of “aggression” in the absence of “mutual trust” and “close to Russia”.
The manager ruled that “restarting the relationship from the empty side”.
President Vladimir Putin had already called for “immediate” talks on Tuesday on guarantees for Russia’s security.
In a video conference interview in early December, he also asked his US envoy, Joe Biden, for such legal guarantees.
The treaty proposals prohibit the United States from establishing military bases in all non-NATO member states of the former Soviet Union, using its infrastructure for “any military action” and developing “bilateral military cooperation” with these states.
All members of the Atlantic Alliance will never magnify NATO and “carry out military operations in Ukraine and other European countries, in the Caucasus region of South and Central Asia”.
Ms Zaki on Friday, however, rejected any “compromise” on the fact that “all nations have the right to decide for themselves what their future and foreign policy will be without external influence.”
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Expansion to include former Soviet countries A red line for Russia, Ukraine and Georgia are candidates for entry into NATO.
Map of Ukraine showing separatist-controlled areas and Crimea annexed by Russia (AFP /)
Russian expert Konstantin Kalatsev told the AFP, however, that the plans presented on Friday were “unrealistic”. “Americans will see them as a propaganda ploy, a publicity stunt to divert NATO’s attention from Moscow’s operations,” he said.
“As for Russia, it is important to show that the threat did not come from there and that it does not want to attack Ukraine or start a war with the United States,” he said.
Moscow annexed Ukrainian Crimea and is widely seen as a haven for pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, where civil strife has claimed about 13,000 lives since 2014. In 2008, Russia also defeated Georgia in a narrow war.
The West refused to close the door on NATO for these two countries, but they practically disabled the membership process.
Washington, NATO and the European Union accuse Moscow of amassing tens of thousands of troops on the border with Ukraine in recent weeks.
The Kremlin denies the allegations and instead claims to be under the threat of NATO, which is arming Kiev and increasing its military presence in the Black Sea.
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