With more than 120,000 Russian soldiers massed on the Ukrainian border, tensions in Romania’s neighborhood remain. Against the background of this tension in the territory, things seem more and more heated at the diplomatic level as well.
Russia has called on the North Atlantic Alliance to revoke its promise to join NATO several years ago. A requirement categorically rejected by NATO officials.
Russia has issued a new strong threat and demands assurances that NATO will not expand to the East. Specifically, he wants the Alliance to revoke its commitment to the 2008 summit in Bucharest, which promised Ukraine and Georgia membership in NATO.
Sergei Riabkov, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister: “If our opponents, first and foremost the United States and its allies, reject this and try to speed up the process, they will face off. inevitably with a worsening of the security situation. What form it will take is a separate discussion. ”
The NATO Secretary General immediately responded that he opposes any Russian intervention in the Alliance-Ukraine relations. Furthermore, the head of the European Commission stressed that any aggression by Russia would entail sanctions.
Ursula von der Leyen, head of the European Commission: “Any aggression must come at a price. As a result, we will forward these points to Russia in an appropriate form. “
Along with Russian troops massed near Ukraine’s borders, there are also fighter jets flying over the area. According to the Kremlin’s national news agency, Russia sent an air vehicle to escort a US military reconnaissance aircraft flying over the Black Sea.
Against all this tense background, the hope remains that things could still be resolved in a dipolamtic way.
Mircea Geoana, Deputy Secretary General of NATO: “Let’s show a common front of the alliance, the European Union, the allies, in the face of Russia’s aggressive activities and once again call on Russia to de-escalate the situation and reduce tensions and call for dialogue. NATO is doing what it says in our genetic code to do, to protect the nations that are part of the alliance, to protect the 1 billion citizens of NATO states, and, now, the Eastern Europeans, Romania, on the eastern flank “We are talking about defense, discouragement, but also dialogue with Russia. That is what NATO is doing now, in these difficult times.”
Cristian Diaconescu, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania: “It would be desirable for there to be a strong solidarity of all NATO countries and, at the top of the Alliance, the Black Sea area to acquire the same importance with which the Baltic Sea area is treated.”
Russian authorities and Russian state media regularly accuse Kiev of discriminating against Russian-speakers in eastern Ukraine. For seven years, this area has been torn apart by a guerrilla war between Kiev and pro-Russian separatists, supported militarily and financially by Moscow. The wear and tear conflict has already killed more than 13,000 people. In fact, a so-called referendum of the Russian-speaking population in Crimea was the pretext for the annexation of the peninsula by Russia in 2014.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had a televised speech on Friday, saying he did not rule out holding a referendum on the future status of eastern Ukraine and the Crimean Peninsula, annexed by Russia in 2014. He also welcomed the involvement of US President Joe Biden is trying to make peace in the Donbas region and does not rule out direct talks with Vladimir Putin to resolve the issue.