NATO’s disagreement with the Kremlin’s demands could be a pretext for new aggression, says Steven Pifer.
The diplomat called the possible invasion of the Russian Federation into Ukraine a tragedy / Illustration / REUTERS
Russia understands that the US and NATO are proposing agreements that are largely unacceptable to the West. Refusal from them could become a new pretext for the Russian Federation to invade Ukraine.
This opinion was expressed by “RBK-Ukraine“Former US Ambassador to Ukraine, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, Stephen Pifer.
The diplomat explains that the bigger question in general is whether the Kremlin is ready to negotiate. According to him, the publication of draft agreements almost immediately after their transfer to Western partners does not imply a serious approach.
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“It worries me that the Kremlin intends and wants the West to backtrack on the deal to create another pretext for attacking Ukraine. This will be a tragedy for Ukraine, but it will also be a tragedy for the relatives of Russian soldiers who will eventually be killed in Ukraine. “, he says.
Russia’s demands on NATO and the reaction to them
As UNIAN reported earlier, on Friday, December 17, on the website of the Russian Foreign Ministry, a list of the Kremlin’s demands regarding Washington and the Alliance appeared, which spoke, in particular, about guarantees of non-deployment of military bases on the territories of post-Soviet countries, including Ukraine’s non-NATO membership. In addition, Moscow is demanding that the Alliance refuse to provide military reinforcements to its Eastern European allies.
In turn, the press secretary of the White House Jen Psaki assured that the United States will not make any decisions without Europe.
Vladimir Putin considers Ukraine’s membership in NATO a “red line”. In December, commenting on the data on the movement of Russian troops, the head of the Kremlin said that he would demand from the Alliance guarantees that Ukraine would not enter.
Biden, in talks with Putin on December 7, refused to abide by the “red lines” established by the Kremlin regarding Ukraine’s possible membership in the military alliance.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, in turn, confirmed that Russia does not have the right to veto Ukraine’s membership in NATO. However, on December 9, he invited Russian representatives to meet at a meeting of the NATO-RF Council against the background of the accumulation of Russian troops in Ukraine, which was negatively perceived by the countries of the eastern flank of the Alliance.
In Ukraine, they are convinced that the non-aligned nature of Ukraine will in no way diminish Putin’s “appetite”. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed that the North Atlantic future of Ukraine is decided by its people, not Russia.
Western intelligence confirms suspicious movements of Russian troops along the border with Ukraine. Intelligence suggests that the Russian Federation will try to invade the country again this winter.