The Russian government presented the United States and NATO with an ambitious document with which it intends to de-escalate the conflict in Ukraine, before whose borders, according to US intelligence, Moscow already has 175,000 men and all the necessary military equipment to launch a full-scale armed offensive. scale.
The text was hand-delivered in Moscow last Wednesday by Vice Chancellor Sergei Riabkov to the number two of US diplomacy, Karen Donfried.
A new piece of information is that it proposes creating “direct lines” with NATO to maintain emergency contacts and suggests a “mutual collaboration” to avoid incidents.
A “mechanism for urgent bilateral and multilateral consultations, including the NATO-Russia Council to resolve problematic situations,” he raises.
The EU joined the US on Thursday in warning Moscow of “huge costs” in the form of harsh financial penalties that would entail any action against Ukraine.
Brussels is studying joint sanctions with Washington, including that of expelling Russian banks from the Swift system. This name designates a private Belgian company responsible for handling the vast majority of international banking transactions. Getting out of Swift is getting out of the international financial system.
Military vehicles from Poland, Italy, Canada and the US during NATO military exercises in Latvia in September. Photo: AP
Russia proposes two treaties that prevent any expansion of NATO to eastern Europe as well as the establishment of US military bases in countries of the former Soviet space. Russia wants to negotiate “from this Saturday” if the US and the Europeans are ready.
The pacts would be called “Treaty between the US and the Russian Federation on security guarantees” and “Agreement on security measures of the Russian Federation and NATO and their member states.”
Ryabkov explained that “it is essential that the security guarantees for Russia are on paper and have legal force.”
Moscow also claims that the Atlantic Alliance cannot use “its infrastructures for any military activity or develop bilateral military cooperation” in the region and even beyond. Washington immediately clarified that will not accept reduce NATO’s sphere of influence.
Russian President Vladimir Putin stands firm in the conflict with Ukraine. Photo: AP
Joe Biden clarified that “there will be no discussions (with Russia) on European security without European allies.
According to Biden, the US “has managed to negotiate with Russia on security issues and there is no reason why we could not continue down this path, although we will do so with our European partners and allies.”
The Kremlin doesn’t seem to have a problem with that condition. But he does deny the accusations that he is preparing any war. On the contrary, he denounces that it is the Atlantic defense agreement that is unfolding in Ukraine an “existential security challenge” for Moscow.
The documents include a list of negotiation topics to “relaunch the situation,” according to Riabkov, who recalled that Vladimir Putin had already requested “immediate” negotiations on security guarantees on Tuesday. Moscow’s Great Red Line is a NATO extension to Ukraine and Georgia. That would put the Atlantic Alliance across much of Russia’s western border.
That is why Moscow demands a kind of finlandization Ukraine, that the country remains a buffer state not aligned with anyone on security.
Russia also demands that NATO not deploy soldiers outside the territory of the countries that formed the Atlantic Alliance in 1997, before the beginning of its expansion to the east. It could only do so in exceptional situations and “after agreement with Moscow.” Russia also calls for an end to any NATO military activity in Ukraine, all of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia.
That request is impossible to fulfill. It would force NATO to withdraw its troops from Albania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Poland and Romania, all member states of the Alliance.
A kind of veto of troop movements within the territory of the Atlantic organization that European governments would never accept because it leaves half of them with their national forces as the only form of military deterrence.
The question is whether Russia sets the bar that high to achieve much less but what it definitely has on its radar, especially the looming future issue of Ukraine.