In Russia’s Long Shadow: Putin Will Not ‘Dictate’ Terms to NATO

Written by | Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

NATO will discuss Russia’s proposals for the alliance’s military affairs on its eastern border, but it will not permit Moscow to “dictate” its security affairs, German defense minister Christine Lambrecht has said. Moscow provided a list of military demands on Friday (17 December) to the United States and its allies. These demands included withdrawing NATO’s enhanced forward presence battalions from the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. A day earlier (16 December), EU leaders agreed the bloc would impose further economic sanctions on Russia if it invaded Ukraine. The EU-27 said they would take action in tandem with the US and the UK, however, they also encouraged more diplomacy with Moscow.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s new ambassador in to the EU has warned that Russia’s threat of war against his country should be seen in in terms of its geopolitical and political needs. Russia’s regime “needs a Crimea-type boost to replenish its image and to represent itself as having a seat at the top table [in world affairs],” Vsevolod Chentsov told the press in an interview, referring to Russia’s military seizure of Crimea in 2014. When asked about if Ukraine would not be tempted to join NATO in case Russia was less aggressive, he said: “It is difficult to imagine what could have happened. I wish the Kremlin never made this choice to annex Crimea and to create this war in the East of Ukraine. I hate to speculate here. But if the standards of our armed forces would reach those of NATO member states, we would be able to withstand the pressure.
Speaking shortly after the recent Eastern Partnership (EaP) summit and the EU summit, Mr. Chentsov was also spoke about his satisfaction with the level of EU support your country obtained: “The participation of the President of Ukraine in the EaP summit and his bilateral meetings with the EU leadership helped frame this discussion and make the Ukrainian point of view quite clear. The threat is there, Russian troops are present at the Ukrainian border, Russian equipment is there, there is no withdrawal in spite of promises and announcements, and we need to work together with the EU, with NATO, with our main partners like the U.S., to build up a deterrent and to keep the situation under control. We don’t need to wait until the situation gets worse. The president made this point very clear, that pressure on Russia, including sanction pressure, should be used to get Russia engaged, to make them sit at the table and talk, and not just wait until the situation escalates, and only then think about eventual retaliation.”

Article Categories:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.