Two days after receiving Washington’s formal response to its “security proposals”, Vladimir Putin reserved the first of his reaction to Emmanuel Macron. According to the Kremlin press release devoted to the telephone conversation between the two leaders on Friday, January 28, Mr. Putin believes that “the responses of the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization [OTAN] disregarded Russia’s fundamental concerns”.
The Russian president, however, did not go so far as to inform Mr. Macron of his intentions. The press release says that “the Russian side will carefully study the written responses received on January 26 from the United States and NATO (…), after which she will decide on her future actions”. Nevertheless, according to the Elysée Palace, Mr. Poutine, during the interview with his French counterpart, “denied having offensive intentions”, while reiterating its demands on Westerners. On Ukraine, as on European security, the Russian and French presidents “agreed on the continuation of the dialogue and the need for the Europeans and France to be fully involved”, we observe in Paris.
The “fundamental concerns” were put on paper in December 2021, in the form of two draft agreements submitted to NATO and the United States. Vladimir Putin recalled them on Friday: a ban on any future enlargement of NATO, including to Ukraine; withdrawal of Alliance forces from countries that became members of the Atlantic Alliance after 1997; prohibition of any military cooperation with the countries of the former USSR which are not members of NATO.
Lower the tension
In support of these claims, the deployment of large forces on the border with Ukraine and the implicit threat of a new military aggression against this country, after those of 2014-2015, have stirred the West. The text of the response delivered on Wednesday by the American ambassador has not been made public, but its tone is known: Washington and NATO refuse to let Moscow dictate to the organization what it should do, name of the right of States to choose their alliances.
On Friday, Vladimir Putin reminded his interlocutor of another principle of international law, which requires that a state or a bloc not strengthen its security to the detriment of another country. But it is now another type of reaction that is being watched, in the form of a diplomatic or military escalation from Russia.
It was in the hope of reducing the tension that Emmanuel Macron had offered Vladimir Putin an interview. There was no question of the response or the sanctions that Westerners are preparing in the event of an attack on Ukraine. “The meeting took place in the continuity of the sustained dialogue, which the President of the Republic and Mr. Poutine have maintained since their meeting in Brégançon. [la résidence d’Etat située dans le Var] », in August 2019, explained the Elysée.
You have 52.92% of this article left to read. The following is for subscribers only.