Russia said on Friday it wanted a legally binding guarantee that NATO would give up any military activity in Eastern Europe and Ukraine, part of a wish list of security guarantees it wants to negotiate with the West.
Moscow for the first time laid out in detail demands that it says are essential for lowering tensions in Europe and defusing a crisis over Ukraine, which Western countries have accused Russia of sizing up for a potential invasion after building up troops near the border. Russia has denied planning an invasion. The demands contain elements – such as an effective Russian veto on future NATO membership for Ukraine – that the West has already ruled out.
Others would imply the removal of U.S. nuclear weapons from Europe and the withdrawal of multinational NATO battalions from Poland and from the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania that were once in the Soviet Union.
Steve Rosenberg is the BBC’s Moscow correspondent and has been for many years. This is his analysis of the situation.
“Diplomacy is the art of the possible. Well it was… until now. It’s virtually impossible to imagine the US and Nato signing the draft documents Russian diplomats have drawn up, without considerable changes. Russia is demanding a veto on who joins the Alliance. A non-starter. Nato has said many times before that Moscow can have no say over who gets to be a member. Plus the Russians want to turn the clock back to May 1997. Any country that joined the Nato alliance after that date won’t be allowed Nato troops or weaponry. Moscow knows very well it’s demanding things the West won’t deliver, so why ask?”
Russia is demanding the “impossible” as far as NATO is concerned. This could be Putin’s way of blaming the West when (if) war starts on their own intransigence. Gog is preparing for war….
Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them. After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, (Ezekiel 38:7-8)
Weekly World Watch: for this week
- Middle East migrants lured into thinking Belarus would provide a gateway to Europe
- France, Germany Propose EU Summit With Russia’s Putin, Diplomats Say
- Russian bombers fly over Belarus as border crisis deepens
- British troops deployed to Polish border as tensions with Russia rise
- Germany blocks Nord Stream 2 pipe from Russia
- Russia reacting to attempts to break ‘strategic parity’
- Are we shambling into WWIII?
- President Joe Biden speaking to Russian President Vladimir Putin to expect a clarification about the troop build up at the Ukraine border
- Risk of accidental war with Russia highest in decades, general warns
- Tensions increase along Ukrainian frontlines amid Russia conflict
- Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Russian troop movements
- Prepare for Russian invasion of Ukraine, US warns European allies
- Britain in talks to sell missiles in first arms deal with Ukraine
- Russia has ‘no trust’ in Nato over Ukraine
- If Russia chooses to fail to de-escalate
- A lot of talk about a war beginning soon