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Russia presents a list of demands to de-escalate tension in Ukraine

Ukrainian soldiers in a position close to the rebel Donetsk / efe

Call on NATO to renounce any activity in Eastern Europe and to veto the integration of Kiev, something that has already been rejected

Russia on Friday asked NATO for a legally binding guarantee that it will renounce any military activity in Eastern Europe and Ukraine, as part of a wish list of security guarantees that it wants to negotiate with the West. Moscow, for the first time, presented in detail demands that it said are essential to reduce tensions in Europe and defuse a crisis over Ukraine, after Western countries accused it of evaluating a possible invasion.

The Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Riabkov, presented to the press some requests that are contained, according to him, in two documents: a draft agreement with the NATO countries and a draft treaty with the United States. Riabkov considered it necessary for Russia and the West to start from scratch to rebuild their relations and said that Moscow was ready to start talks today, with Geneva as a possible place.

The demands contain elements, such as an effective Russian veto on Ukraine’s future NATO integration, that the West has already ruled out. Others would involve the withdrawal of US nuclear weapons in Europe and the withdrawal of multinational NATO battalions from Poland and the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania that were once in the Soviet Union.

In Washington, a senior administration official said the US was prepared to discuss the proposals, but added: “That said, there are some things in those documents that the Russians know are unacceptable.” The official noted that Washington would respond sometime next week with more specific proposals on the format of the talks. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said they would speak to her allies. “We will not compromise the key principles on which European security is based,” he said.


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