Ukraine’s Red Lines: Putin Reiterates Call For ‘Immediate’ NATO Talks on Russia’s Security

Written by | Friday, December 17th, 2021

Russian president Vladimir Putin said Tuesday (14 December) in a phone call with the Finish
President Sauli Niinsto that he wants “immediate” talks with the U.S. and NATO over security
guarantees, as tensions soar between Moscow and the West over Ukraine. As troops gather
at the Ukrainian border, the U.S. and its allies have for weeks accused Russia of planning an
invasion of its neighbor, warning of a massive coordinated sanctions response should Putin
launch an attack. Putin who says Western powers are to blame for tensions arising from
recent buildup of between 75,000-100,000 Russian troops along the Ukraine border is
pushing Western leaders to end NATO’s eastward expansion.
Following the phone call with the Finnish President, Putin also spoke with French President
Emmanuel Macron, again calling for “immediate” negotiations with NATO and the US. “The
Russian president emphasized the importance of immediately launching international
negotiations to develop legally fixed guarantees that would prevent any further NATO
expansion to the east and the deployment of weapons to neighboring states, primarily in
Ukraine, that threaten Russia,” read a Kremlin statement released on Tuesday. Putin’s calls
reiterated similar statements made in recent discussions with U.S. President Joe Biden and
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Russia has clearly articulated that neighboring Ukraine’s aspirations to join NATO — a
Western military alliance — cross a red line. The Kremlin says it is also concerned about
NATO members setting up military training operations in Ukraine — warning that it would
give Western militaries a foothold at its doorstep even if Ukraine failed to join the alliance.
Moscow denies Western accusations of its plan to invade Ukraine, claiming its stance is
purely defensive, instead blaming Kiev, NATO and Western powers for the highly charged
situation. Western intelligence services have suggested Moscow’s troop buildups may
represent a threat scenario designed to create bargaining leverage. U.S. President Joe Biden
earlier warned Putin of “sanctions like he’s never seen” should Russia attack its neighbor.
The EU and G7 have also met to discuss actions to be taken in the event of Russian
Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in an interview on Monday
(13 December) that Moscow would have to deploy intermediate-range nuclear missiles if
NATO refused to engage with it on preventing such an escalation. His comments further
raised the stakes in an East-West standoff in which Russia is demanding security guarantees
from the West while the U.S. and its allies are warning Moscow to pull back from what they
see as a possible invasion of Ukraine – something Ryabkov again denied was Russia’s
intent. Intermediate-range nuclear forces (INF) in Europe were banned under a 1987 treaty
agreed between Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and US President Ronald Reagan in what
was hailed at the time as a major easing of Cold War tensions. Washington quit the pact in
2019 after complaining for years of alleged Russian violations.

Article Categories:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.