Representatives of the United States and Russia in Geneva discuss the “Ukrainian crisis” and their ideas on security in Europe. The Kremlin is also particularly concerned about NATO enlargement to the east.
The deployment of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine has led to the forced transfer of NATO troops and the West in general to increased combat readiness, to Russia’s satisfaction. Russian President Vladimir Putin said in November that “our warnings have recently been taken seriously and shown their effectiveness.” At a meeting with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, he demanded that the tension remain as long as possible. Only in this way will Russia’s security interests, its so-called “red lines”, finally be taken seriously.
Over the years, the Kremlin has challenged NATO’s intentions to advance to Russia’s borders, with rotating NATO troops in the Baltic states and missile systems in Romania and Poland. In addition, Russia claims Ukraine’s armaments and a growing number of NATO military exercises, including in the Black Sea.
Putin: The West has broken its promises
In early December last year, Putin told foreign diplomats that Russia’s situation was “more than serious.” The Kremlin leader believes that Western partners have violated their commitments. Oral promises were made that NATO would not expand to the east.
In view of this, Putin believes, it is finally necessary to sign a written document on binding security guarantees, which will exclude any further NATO enlargement to the east. The same applies to the deployment of offensive weapons near Russia’s borders. Thus, Ukraine’s accession to NATO is excluded, there are no prospects for joining the Alliance for Georgia.
According to Putin, the NATO alliance must refrain from further action in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the South Caucasus. This means that there should be no more military exercises and arms supplies to these regions, instead NATO should return to its 1997 positions.
The United States and NATO consider such demands unacceptable
From the point of view of the United States, NATO and Ukraine, such maximum demands from Russia are unacceptable, and Ukraine, given Russia’s growing aggressive rhetoric, is sounding the alarm. According to the Kremlin, such demands of Moscow are logical, given the experience known so far.
According to President Putin, if modern strike systems were deployed in Ukraine, the missiles would not take five minutes to reach Moscow. “What’s so strange about that?” Putin asked at his annual press conference. “Is this why we are deploying missiles on the border with the United States? No! The United States has its missiles on our doorstep. Is it really an exaggeration to demand that there be no offensive weapons in front of our border? ”
Russia does not expect rapid progress
The fact that US President Joe Biden said in a telephone conversation with the Kremlin leader that the United States has no plans to deploy offensive weapons in Ukraine was positively noted. It was also noted that Washington is ready to talk about limiting military maneuvers.
It is naive to expect rapid progress, says Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, who is negotiating with Russia. And he made it clear in advance that the Allies would no longer have room to breathe.