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Russia raises tension and redoubles its demands on the US and NATO

  • The Kremlin demands the exclusion of Georgia and Ukraine from the Atlantic Alliance and power of veto before the military deployments of the alliance in Eastern Europe

In the middle of a tension that does not cease increase due to unprecedented military deployment of the Russian Army next to the border with Ukraine, Moscow has doubled this Friday the bet by making public the guarantees that it hopes to obtain from the US in future bilateral talks on security in Europe pending to start. The Russian requirements go beyond the exclusion of Ukraine and Georgia of NATO, and even contemplate a right of veto from the Kremlin to possible military deployments in countries that for more than two decades are full member states of the Atlantic Alliance. In a first reaction, Washington has already warned Moscow that there will be no dialogue on strategic issues on the European continent “ not counting with the allies. “

The Russian Foreign Ministry has spread on his Facebook account two ” draft agreements “, one of them to deal with” USA “on” security guarantees “, and a second aimed at” reinforcing the security of the Russian Federation and NATO member states “. The first text consists of eight articles , among which the fourth stands out, which stipulates that “The US assumes the obligation to exclude any expansion of NATO in the eastern direction “, in addition to” denying “membership to” any state that had in the past integrated the Soviet Union”. It is about a demand that had already been publicized in the previous days by Russian leaders and that NATO has already rejected on the grounds that it was a internal issue to be resolved exclusively by the candidate country and the member states.

The second document consists of nine articles and includes previously unknown requirements. In particular, the fourth article has surprised, in which it is stipulated that NATO undertakes not to establish military deployments in those European countries that were not part of the military organization “ on May 27, 1997 “. This would exclude all the former Eastern European states of the Warsaw Pact

that were integrated into the Atlantic Alliance in successive waves starting in 1999 -since Poland to Bulgaria , passing by Czechia , Hungary , Slovakia, Romania or the Baltic republics – and would de facto grant Moscow veto right over troop movements within allied territory.

Rush of Russia

Proposals were submitted by Sergey Riabkov , number two of the Russian Foreign Ministry, to the American Deputy Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Karen Donfried, during a recent visit to the Russian capital. Moscow is showing impatience and wants to start negotiations as soon as possible; Riabkov himself has assured that he is willing to travel to a neutral country this Saturday to begin work.

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The White House has responded to the publication of the Russian demands firmly , ensuring that he will not negotiate any security issue on the continent with his back to the European allies. Trying to calm the spirits in the face of what many observers perceive as a disturbing hardening of the Russian position, the White House spokeswoman, Jen Psaki , recalled that “ for decades “The West had managed to integrate Russia into” the strategic dialogue “. “There is no reason why we cannot move forward and reduce instability, although we will do so in coordination with our European allies and partners,” continued Psaki.

No observer, not even Russian analysts believe it plausible that Washington or NATO can accept some of the demands made by the Russian side. In a telephone conversation, Andrei Kortunov, director general of the Russian Council for International Affairs, a think tank close to Foreign Affairs, assumes that even the Kremlin is aware of it. “They have people trained to know that these proposals will be rejected,” he says. The unknown now will be the position adopted by the US and its allies. “They can reject them outright, or respond in a softer way,” the academic advances. Asked why Moscow has raised the tone of its demands, Kortunov mentions “Russian frustration at the lack of progress in Ukraine” and the Russian perception that Washington, focused on the tension between China and Taiwan, is now “ more conducive to do concessions “.

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