May 22, 2022

Russia regrets US refusal to limit NATO expansion

Russia takes note of the American position. Thursday, January 27, the head of Russian diplomacy, Sergei Lavrov, regretted that Washington had not given “positive response” to the ” principal ” request from Moscow – that of putting an end to the enlargement of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), in particular to Ukraine –, denouncing “the unbridled expansion of the Alliance [Atlantique] ».

“We cannot accept such a position”, he said, adding that Moscow was “studying the response received from the Americans” and that of NATO. ” There is [cependant] a reaction that gives hope for the start of a serious conversation on secondary issues”, Lavrov added in a statement.

Also listen Should we fear a Russian invasion in Ukraine?

Russian soldiers at the border

On Wednesday, the American ambassador delivered a letter to the Russian Foreign Ministry explaining that the United States was “determined to maintain and defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and the right of states to choose their own security arrangements and alliances”, the head of American diplomacy, Antony Blinken, had reported that day to journalists. The letter also reaffirmed ” that [les Etats-Unis] defend[ent] the principle of the open door to NATO”, while offering “a serious diplomatic path if Russia wishes it”.

These exchanges are carried out against a backdrop of extreme tensions on the Russian-Ukrainian border; Washington has said it expects a possible imminent attack by Russian forces, as Moscow has moved tens of thousands of troops near the Ukrainian borders. Russia denies any plan of invasion, but it considers itself threatened by the expansion of NATO for twenty years as well as by Western political and military support for its Ukrainian neighbor.

Towards European sanctions

Moscow has warned that the rejection of its demands would result in reprisals, sweeping away the threats of unprecedented sanctions that the West says it wants to impose in the event of an offensive in Ukraine. Among these measures could be measures against the controversial German-Russian gas pipeline Nord Stream II, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told the Chamber of Deputies on Thursday.

Russia can however be satisfied with the explicit support of China. On Thursday, the Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, thus defended the “reasonable concerns” of Russia for his safety, during a telephone exchange with his American counterpart, Antony Blinken.

France continues to play the diplomatic card. Wednesday evening, a meeting in Paris brought together Russian, Ukrainian negotiators and Franco-German mediators. The latter resumed an appointment for February, promising to work to guarantee a truce in the East. Paris greeted “a good signal” from “reengagement” from the Russians despite the ” Difficult conditions “, before a meeting on Friday between the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, and his counterpart from the Russian Federation, Vladimir Poutine.

At the same time, however, the Kremlin party United Russia on Wednesday called on Russian authorities to arm separatists in Ukraine. The main representative of the latter called for modern weapons, in particular to deal with Ukrainian drones, acquired from Turkey and reputed to be extremely effective.

The World with AFP