Jens Stoltenberg says he will try to continue negotiations with Russia to avoid war in Ukraine. But Moscow has not yet made clear whether it wants more meetings with the United States and NATO after last week’s crisis meetings.
“Today I invited Russia and members of the NATO-Russian Council to a series of meetings,” NATO Secretary General said in Berlin on Tuesday, following a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Schulz.
Western diplomacy is now under high pressure to prevent Russia from taking it seriously threat of military action, After President Vladimir Putin received a blatant rejection of his main demands: that Ukraine never join NATO, and that the defense alliance withdraw its forces from the new member states in the east.
VG reports from Ukraine: We are ready for war for the children
Stoltenberg mentioned a number of topics that NATO wants to discuss with Russia, including troop reductions, training warnings, and better lines of communication.
Stoltenberg emphasized that the most important thing now was to avoid further conflict, although he acknowledged that the danger was still real.
“But we do not want to compromise on vital principles such as NATO’s right to defend all allied nations,” he added.
Ukraine receives various forms of support from NATO, but the member states have different views on the right support.
Schultz emphasized in the meeting with Stoltenberg that Germany would not support Ukraine with weapons – the day after Britain announced that it would export short-range anti-tank missiles to Ukraine.
If you need an explanation – see the background to the conflict here:
Lavrov: Russia does not threaten anyone
At the same time that Stoltenberg landed in Berlin on Tuesday, German Foreign Minister Annallina Barbock met her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow.
Lavrov said in a press conference after their meeting that Moscow is still waiting for a response from the United States on its demands for the security situation before it can continue talks on Ukraine.
– We await a response to these proposals – as promised – to continue negotiations. Let’s hope these talks continue, he said, according to NTB.
Lavrov also said that Russia cannot accept the demands regarding military operations on its territory, and added that Russia does not threaten anyone.
Stoltenberg to VG: Negotiations on offer – awaiting Russian response
US President Joe Biden is now sending his chief diplomat to Kiev to show support for Ukraine, which has a physical threat of about 100,000 Russian soldiers ready to fight on the Russian side of the border.
Foreign Minister Tony Blinken will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Wednesday. Blinken then travels to Germany on Thursday.
Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store (Labour) also struck a deal with Chancellor Olaf Schulz in Berlin on Wednesday.
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