An attack on Ukraine would be very dangerous.
This is the victory of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg after the first meeting of the NATO-Russia Council since July 2019.
Stoltenberg summarizes the meeting as follows:
We had a very serious and direct conversation about the situation and its impact on NATO security.
Tensions between Russia and Ukraine are tense.
Western countries have blamed Russia for deploying some 100,000 troops near the Ukrainian border, and the Russians claim they planned a possible invasion of the neighboring country this winter.
Russia refused, stating that they were free to move their forces on their territory.
Do not replace the collar
At today’s meeting, Russia demanded that NATO not expand eastward.
This requirement hits NATO.
– We will help Ukraine on the path to membership, Stoltenberg said during the press conference after the meeting, and Russia cannot veto this.
– Do you feel that an escalation of the conflict is likely to one degree or another after NATO and the United States stated that the “open door” policy is not up for discussion?
It is possible to move forward if Russia is willing to participate in finding a political solution.
– We are open to discussing a number of issues with Russia. It includes a balanced control of the weapons, and we see that these mechanisms worked before.
– But we are not ready to compromise one of the basic principles of the European Security Policy, which states that all countries have the right to choose their own path.
Stoltenberg points to, among other things, Finland and Sweden, which are not applying for membership, but nonetheless stresses the importance of the countries themselves choosing the way they want to go.
During the meeting, NATO, for its part, put forward a demand for the demilitarization of the border region with Ukraine.
The buildup of military forces around Ukraine, for example, is worrisome.
Stoltenberg said Russia is not ready to agree on new disarmament meetings in Europe, but NATO feels there is a will for dialogue on arms control.
Dialogue is difficult, but therefore important. We will try to find a diplomatic solution to this matter.
I would like to confront
During the press conference, Stoltenberg blamed Russia for this situation, because it violated the embargo agreement intermittent missiles.
– This agreement collapsed due to extensive Russian violations of the agreement. I know it’s possible to get agreements, but it takes a lot.
When asked what guarantees NATO demands from Russia, Stoltenberg replied:
– Russia has forces in several countries such as Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia without the consent of the various governments. One of our demands is the withdrawal of these forces.
NATO is ready to meet with Russia again to discuss concrete measures, and looks forward to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) meeting on Thursday.
– Stoltenberg said after the meeting that NATO is ready to discuss concrete proposals, but we must also realize that Russia will also have a confrontation this time.
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