In the past week, Russia listed in writing to USA and NATO the security guarantees that it hopes to obtain in exchange for ending the tensions with Ukraine, on whose border, according to different sources, it has about 200,000 troops deployed ready to intervene at any time. But the Russian president, Vladimir PutinHe assures that he has not yet received any response from the West and also observes a position on the part of the allies that is “increasingly belligerent.” So he has hinted that he is losing patience and threatened to undertake actions of a “military and technical” nature.
“Should our Western colleagues maintain this obviously very aggressive stance, we will take appropriate military and technical measures,” Putin said.
in his speech at the top of the Russian Defense Ministry. In his words, “the reinforcement along the borders of Russia of US and NATO military contingentsas well as the organization of large-scale maneuvers are a source of concern. ‘
In the opinion of the top Russian leader, the blame for the current escalation of tension in Europe is “the US has.” because, Putin added, “every step it takes – in that escalation – forces Russia to respond in some way.” The Russian Defense Minister, Sergei ShoiguFor his part, he also stressed that Washington is expanding its military system “with a total of about 8,000 troops in the countries of Eastern Europe.”
So yesterday, the head of the Kremlin made a new call to address without loss of time the negotiations with the US and NATO on the “security guarantees” that Moscow considers unquestionable. In the proposals, contained in two separate documents and presented on December 17, Moscow demands, among other things, that Ukraine not join NATO or any other state in its vicinity, limit the presence of the Alliance in the Eastern countries and prohibit the placement of medium-range missiles and nuclear weapons in the Old Continent.
But Putin has warned that the West “is dragging its feet not to make concessions” to Moscow. In his opinion, “verbal guarantees are not sufficient (…) they would have to be given in writing.” The Russian Foreign Ministry announced that “there is still no official response to the Russian proposals on security guarantees.”
Ultimatum to the US
NATO sources consulted by the Financial Times maintain that most of the demands presented by Putin are “unaffordable”, but there is no desire to reject them outright for fear that the situation on the border with Ukraine will worsen. The British newspaper writes: «In private conversations, Western officials reject almost all Moscow’s demands as unacceptable and contrary to the treaties concluded after the WWII, which guarantee the right of sovereign states to form their own defense policy. However, at the same time they agree that closing the door to diplomatic proposals from Russia can further complicate the situation.
The White House spokeswoman, Jennifer Psaki, has warned that “only Kiev and the Alliance should decide on Ukraine’s accession to NATO.” For the former US ambassador in Moscow, Michael McFaul, “the Russian proposals on security guarantees constitute an ultimatum for the US and NATO.” Speaking to Echo Moscow radio, McFaul said he is not sure that the Kremlin wants serious talks on this matter, since, in his opinion, “they are rather pursuing a propaganda purpose” internally.
The US has recommended its citizens not to travel to Ukraine due to the high incidence of the pandemic, but, above all, because of the “growing threats” from Russia to invade the country. Washington fears that there may be “significant military action” on Ukrainian territory. The situation “is unpredictable and can deteriorate in a short time,” says the US State Department. The US authorities fear that a sudden evacuation of its citizens in Ukraine may not be feasible.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian president, Volodímir ZelenskiHe told foreign diplomats from Kiev that he wants to “unblock the peace process in Donbass as soon as possible, regain Crimea, achieve EU membership in the next few years and clarify the prospects regarding NATO, achieve a very specific timetable.”