It is said that Russian President Vladimir Putin has renewed demands for NATO countries to withdraw their forces from Russia’s neighboring countries, and to stop all military aid to Ukraine.
Russian demands are now being tightened, while Putin continues to build up military forces near the border with Ukraine.
A central security source tells VG on Friday morning that the concern internally in NATO is large and growing.
According to NATO sources, withdrawal of NATO forces and cessation of support for Ukraine are some of the demands/proposals that Russia is now making towards the US and NATO.
They are described in two documents the Russian Foreign Ministry handed to US Deputy Secretary of State Karen Donfrid at meetings in Moscow on Wednesday.
The proposals in the two documents that are now being discussed internally at NATO would go far beyond simply securing Russia’s interests in relation to Ukraine.
The texts Putin sent to NATO and the US suggest that NATO must then reverse 25 years of military integration with the new member states in the east, and that the US presence in Europe will be significantly reduced.
Negotiations will take place on Saturday
According to Reuters, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Russia is ready to start negotiations immediately, and said that the negotiating team is ready to meet with its Western counterparts in the Swiss city of Geneva on Saturday.
However, many of the demands Russia is now making have already been rejected by the United States and Western countries.
He wants a treaty between Russia and NATO
On Friday afternoon, the Russian Foreign Ministry published the two documents it handed over: a draft agreement with NATO handed over to Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, and a treaty proposal with the United States.
Documents have been exchanged and discussed among NATO member states in Brussels over the past two days.
According to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti, the documents contain Russian proposals that neither the United States nor Russia should deploy nuclear weapons outside the borders of the two countries, and that countries should withdraw nuclear weapons that have already been deployed.
Putin is also demanding that NATO withdraw a 2008 decision that said Ukraine and Georgia could eventually join the Western defense alliance.
– We have received another proposal from Russia. We are saying clearly that any dialogue with Russia must also be about NATO’s concerns about Russia’s actions,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said at a news conference Friday morning.
NATO countries have also made it clear that if Russia takes concrete steps towards reducing tensions, we are ready to work on strengthening confidence-building measures, Stoltenberg added.
Send more soldiers
But there should be no sign of any withdrawal from the Russian side for the time being. According to intelligence reports shared internally within NATO, Russia now has more than 100,000 soldiers available, as well as equipment, armored vehicles, drones and other “things needed to launch a military operation against Ukraine,” a source told VG.
Stoltenberg reiterated Friday morning that Russia must pay a heavy price if the country escalates its aggression against Ukraine.
We are now making a serious assessment of how the current situation affects NATO security. We will respond to any deterioration, including strengthening our collective defence, Stoltenberg said after meeting with Bulgarian Prime Minister Kirill Petkov in Brussels.
But Russia believes it has not received the response it had hoped for in its latest proposals.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Interfax news agency on Friday morning that the United States and NATO had rejected Russia’s ideas for a new security system in Europe, and that this was not promising.
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