Russia is stepping up its security claims against the West
The main rules of Russia’s doctrine regarding its sphere of influence – including the claim to have a veto on foreign and security policy in other countries – have been repeatedly rejected by NATO officials, who were considered unacceptable from the start. A senior Biden administration official described some of Russia’s claims as “unacceptable” to Washington and said “Moscow knows this,” writes washingtonpost.com
But the latest announcement by the Kremlin highlighted the escalation of this confrontation with the West over Ukraine, a country that Russia considers to be in its political orbit. The announcement also raised concerns among analysts, who said that Moscow was submitting these requests knowing that the United States would not accept them, seeking to send a message internally and creating the pretext for possible military operations against Ukraine from the moment these requests were rejected.
Russia has published two lists of claims
Russia has published two lists of claims – both to Washington and to NATO – for NATO to withdraw its military infrastructure in Eastern European countries since 1997 and thus effectively trying to eliminate the consequences of the 1991 disbandment of the Soviet Union. an event that has kept Russia weak for years.
NATO’s demands also seek to prevent the alliance from continuing any military operation outside its territory in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, as well as in Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.
During a meeting with a number of journalists on Friday, a senior Biden administration official said it was not appropriate for the negotiations to take place in public. He added that the United States would not compromise on key principles on which European security is based, including “the right of all countries to decide their own future and their own foreign policy without outside influence.”
“There are some things in those documents that Russia knows will be unacceptable. “You know they know that,” the official said, adding that he wanted to remain anonymous given the delicate subject under discussion. “But there are other things that we are prepared to examine and that are worth discussing.”
The official did not provide details on issues that could be negotiated, but those related to the location of weapons and military maneuvers were also part of previous negotiations between Washington and Moscow.
The merger of Russian troops near Ukraine has raised alarm in the West, with fears that President Vladimir Putin could launch a new attack on the neighboring country, where Kiev forces have been fighting Russian-backed separatists since 2014 and its conflict resulting in approximately 14,000 deaths. Russia denies it intends to cross the border, but has used the crisis to demand that Ukraine stay out of NATO.
At a meeting of the Foreign Policy Council on Friday, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said that the US government’s view remains that Putin has not yet decided whether or not to invade Ukraine. He said that the analysis of the US intelligence services suggests that, however, Russia’s preparations for such an invasion are “well confirmed”.
“Russia has expressed concern about US and NATO activity. We will express our concern about some of Russia’s actions which, in our opinion, affect our interests and principles, “said Sullivan. “It is a basis for reciprocity from which we will start any dialogue. In some respects, we can make progress, but in other respects we can only disagree. “
During a video conference last week, President Biden warned Putin that Russia would face new sanctions in the event of a military offensive against Ukraine. The European Union is also discussing new sanctions if Russia invades Ukraine.
The agreement that Russia is seeking to conclude with the United States
Russia’s deal with the United States – which will surely be rejected by Washington – would greatly weaken Ukraine, forcing it to give up its aspirations to become a NATO member and tearing Kiev apart from any military aid. US.
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ribakov highlighted Moscow’s pressure, calling for urgent action for an immediate start to negotiations.
“On the other hand, there is not even the desire to enter into negotiations, but let’s see what happens next,” he said.
In an interview with The Washington Post in Kiev on Friday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba wondered why Russia had made its proposals public.
“Does he understand that these initiatives are not feasible and, as a result, the Russians do not expect a positive reaction from the United States or do they just want to turn these negotiations into an image campaign?” Kuleba asked.
He added that Russia’s efforts to dictate to Ukraine its relations with Western powers “are out of the question” and that NATO and the United States simply reject them. “I mean, the idea itself is embarrassing,” he said. “So I think in principle, neither the United States nor NATO will accept it.”
The senior Biden official said the United States was ready to enter into negotiations and discuss with allies the best framework for negotiations on Russia’s long list of claims. The United States plans to send Moscow a more concrete proposal on the process next week, the official said.
As diplomatic negotiations are still ongoing, they would have a better chance of success if Russia eases the situation on the border with Ukraine, Sullivan added.
“It’s very difficult to imagine your agreements if we continue to witness a new cycle of escalation,” Sullivan concluded.
Earlier this week, Russia sent a new draft security agreement to the United States, which would rule out the possibility of Washington mobilizing weapons and military forces outside its territory, “where such a mobilization would be considered by the adversary as a a threat to its national security. ” Washington is being asked to refuse to accept alliance (NATO) states that were previously part of the USSR, including Ukraine and Georgia.
The draft agreement also calls for the United States to no longer establish military bases on the territory of former non-NATO Soviet states and “not to use their infrastructure for military activities or to have bilateral military cooperation relations with them.”
That would rule out any Washington talks with Central Asian countries on establishing US bases in the region to counter Islamic State groups in Afghanistan.
“We do not set any deadlines. We invite them to start negotiations without delay and without blockages, “Ribakov said.
“We hope that President Putin will take advantage of this diplomatic opportunity, while taking into account the interests of his own people,” the senior Biden official added.