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Russia’s demands must be met to lower tensions in Europe, Ukraine

Contentious security guarantees Moscow is seeking include a ban on Ukraine from entering Nato

Russia has put forward a series of controversial security guarantees that it wants Western countries to agree to in order to reduce tensions in Europe and alleviate the crisis over Ukraine, which includes many issues already issued.

These demands include Ukraine’s ban on Nato access to Nato and the deployment of troops and weapons on the eastern side of Nato, in fact the return of Nato troops to their original position in 1997, before the east expansion.

The eight-point agreement was issued by Russia’s foreign ministry as its troops rallied around Ukraine’s impressive borders. Moscow said ignoring its interests would lead to a “military response” similar to the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.
Vladimir Putin demanded that Western countries give Russia “official guarantees” for its security. But the Kremlin’s fierce proposals are likely to be rejected in western capitals as an attempt to formalize Russia’s new influence in eastern Europe.

Also Read: Russian proposals to US & NATO ‘not a menu to choose from’ – Moscow


These requirements, outlined by Moscow in full for the first time, were handed over to the US this week. It includes a request for Nato to withdraw any troops or weapons sent to the allies after 1997, which would cover much of eastern Europe, including Poland, the former Soviet republics of Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, and the Balkans.

Russia has also demanded that Nato block the expansion of Ukraine, including its entry into the bloc, and not hold tests without a previous agreement with Russia in Ukraine, eastern Europe, and the Caucasus such as Georgia or Central Asia.

Those proposals are likely to be viewed negatively in Nato countries, especially Poland and the Baltic states. They warned that Russia was trying to re-establish a sphere of influence in the region and viewed the document as evidence that Moscow wanted to limit its sovereignty.

A senior U.S. official said on Friday the Kremlin was aware that some parts of its proposals were “unacceptable”.


The head of Nato, Jens Stoltenberg, has already overturned agreements denying Ukraine the right to join the military, saying it was in Ukraine with 30 NATO countries. There are already major obstacles to Ukraine’s entry into the alliance, including its regional conflict with Russia over the occupied Crimea.

The Russian document also calls on both countries to cancel any short-term or medium-term missions out of reach, in place of the previous US Intercontinental Nurses (INF) agreement left in the US in 2018.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the US had seen proposals from Russia to start negotiations and was talking to its European counterparts and partners, Reuters reported.

“There will be no European security talks without our European partners,” Psaki told reporters.


Also Read: Russia prepared to talk with NATO in ‘neutral country’

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov, said on Friday that there was no negotiation deadline but that Russia wanted to start negotiations “without delay and without stopping”.

“We can go anywhere and anytime, even tomorrow,” he said warmly.

Asked if he thought the requests were valid, he said no. “This is not about giving a certain kind of conclusion, no. The fact is that the seriousness of our warning should not be taken lightly, ”he said.


Dmitri Trenin, head of the Carnegie Moscow Center, wrote that Russia’s public release of its proposed agreements “may suggest that Moscow [rightly] considers their acceptance of the west to be impossible”.

“This logically means that [Russia] will have to secure its security with one hand, perhaps through mil-tech [military technology],” he wrote.

Also Read: NATO hints to support Ukraine against threat from Russia

Western countries have warned that Russia may be preparing for Ukraine’s invasion in January as Russian tanks, weapons and arrows are packed near the border. Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has called on western countries to provide additional assistance in the event that Russia decides to launch a massive offensive.


On Friday, Ukraine said one of its soldiers had been killed during an offensive against Russian-backed separatists in the east of the country. He was reportedly killed during the attack using explosives and grenades.

The recent deaths bring the number of Ukrainians to the conflict in the 65th since the beginning of the year, according to AFP based on official figures, compared to 50 by 2020. The conflict in eastern Ukraine has so far left more than 13,000 people dead.

Russia has mobilized about 100,000 troops on its side of the border. Joe Biden warned Putin of “unprecedented punishments” when his troops invaded Ukraine. On Thursday, European Union leaders urged Moscow to suspend military construction and return to talks with France and Germany.


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