18 Dec 2021 11:27 a.m.
Russia has proposed to NATO to undertake not to admit Ukraine and other countries into the alliance and not to carry out military actions on Ukrainian territory. At the same time, Moscow suggested that the USA issue a guarantee that the former Soviet states would not join NATO.
Russia has submitted a draft treaty on security guarantees to the USA and handed over an agreement on security measures between Russia and the NATO countries to NATO. The Russian Foreign Ministry announced this on Friday. The documents were handed over to US Undersecretary Karen Donfried on December 15th.
Moscow’s offer to Washington
In the introductory part of the draft treaty with the USA, Russia proposed anchoring the principle of any avoidance of the unleashing of a nuclear war. The document comprises a total of eight articles.
- In the first article, Moscow proposes that the US agree to act on the basis of the principles of indivisible and equal security, without endangering the security of the other side, and to this end, to enter into mutual commitments not to carry out any actions and activities that the Affect the security of the other side.
- The sites may not use the territory of other states to prepare or carry out an armed attack against Russia or the United States.
- The USA should undertake to rule out any further eastward expansion of NATO and to reject the admission of states that formerly belonged to the USSR to the alliance. This applies at least to Ukraine and Georgia, which have repeatedly expressed their desire to join the alliance.
- The US should not establish military bases on the territory of former Soviet and non-NATO countries, do not use their infrastructure for military activities and develop bilateral military cooperation with them.
- Russia also proposes that each other refrain from stationing armed forces and weapons – also within the framework of international organizations, military alliances or coalitions – in areas where such a stationing would be perceived by the other side as a threat to their national security, as well as more difficult flights To refrain from outside national airspace bombers equipped for nuclear or non-nuclear weapons and from surface warships of all classes in areas outside national territorial waters from which they could be deployed.
- Russia also proposes a return to the principle that land-based medium-range and short-range missiles must not be deployed outside its own territory.
- Moscow also considers it necessary to exclude the stationing of nuclear weapons outside its own territory.
Russia’s offer to NATO
Moscow has also proposed an agreement to the NATO alliance at the same time that provides for a return to the NATO-Russia Council, the re-establishment of communication channels and the abandonment of mutual consideration as adversaries. In nine articles of the document, Russia considers the following suggestions, among others, to be indispensable:
- The non-relocation of armed forces and armaments by Russia and the NATO countries into the territory of all other European states, in addition to the armed forces that were already in these territories on May 27, 1997.
- The elimination of the stationing of medium-range and short-range land-based missiles in areas from which they can attack targets on the territory of other parties.
- Refraining from continuing NATO expansion, including the accession of Ukraine and other states.
- The NATO states should refrain from all military activities in Ukraine and in other Eastern European, Transcaucasian and Central Asian states.
On November 18, at a meeting of the Foreign Ministry, President Vladimir Putin expressed Russia’s desire for security guarantees. At the same time he hired the diplomatic department to work out Russian proposals. Putin stated:
“The question that needs to be raised is whether Russia should be given serious long-term guarantees to ensure our security in this direction, because Russia cannot just exist and think about what might happen there tomorrow.”
In the video conference with US President Joe Biden on December 7th, Putin discussed the issue of security guarantees. According to the Kremlin press service, the Russian president told his US counterpart that Russia was interested in reliable guarantees that would rule out NATO’s eastward expansion. All proposals correspond to what the Foreign Ministry then published in a statement on December 10th.
What reaction does Moscow expect from NATO and the US?
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov commented on the draft Russian documents at a briefing on Friday. He will negotiate on these issues. According to him, the proposals should serve as a basis and platform, especially since the Russian drafts already contain all the necessary references to the earlier documents as well as a translation into English. The Russian representatives are ready to start talks immediately and everywhere. Rjabkow named Geneva as a possible place of negotiation.
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NATO and the US had previously spoken out more than once about not expanding the alliance. On the eve of the Russian proposals, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg affirmed that Ukraine was a sovereign country that had to determine its own future. The decision on Ukraine’s accession to NATO will only be made by Kiev itself and the 30 members of the North Atlantic Alliance. Stoltenberg said literally:
“We will not compromise when it comes to Ukraine’s right to choose its own path.”
However, according to Ryabkov, the Russian demands cannot be considered unacceptable. The Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia said:
“I think the situation in Europe and Eurasia in recent times is so radically different from everything that was before that no templates, no standards from the old experience of that time are applicable here.”
He also warned that the bilateral incident prevention agreements would have to be improved if the Russian proposals were not accepted. However, Ryabkov fears that even such measures will not save the situation without accepting the Russian proposals.
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