After a hiatus of nearly three years, and in the midst of the momentum of the Russia-NATO crisis over the future of the expansion of quest’last, in particularly on the possible annexation of Ukraine and Georgia, the NATO Council will hold talks today, Wednesday, with Moscow.
While the Russians try to get a legal commitment in on the basis of which the alliance will close the doors of its eastward expansion, it does not appear that NATO will change its positions, which it considers in principle, in terms of freedom to join it, in particular as it is a defensive rather than an offensive alliance.
An attempt to defuse the crisis
Those talks will take place between the United States and its European allies with Moscow at NATO headquarters to try to spare the region what Washington considers a Russian threat to invade Ukraine, after US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman informed Tuesday representatives of the 30 NATO member states of the content of the negotiations held in Geneva with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.
Russia will be represented by Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko, who called the meeting a “moment of truth” in relations between his country and NATO.
Sherman will represent the United States, while France will send François Delattre, director general of the French foreign ministry.
While a representative of a European country told AFP: “There is no reason for optimism, but the Russians are seriously committed to via diplomatic “.
Russia has previously asked for broad reassurances from Washington and its allies, including concrete guarantees that Ukraine will not join NATO.
However, the new US Ambassador to NATO, Julian Smith, made it clear that his country had made no concessions, but had made proposals to reduce the risks of conflict and to undertake conventional and nuclear disarmament.
Washington also assured Moscow that it does not intend to deploy weapons offensive in Ukraine, but denied having any intention of disarming Europe, according to the European diplomat.
Interestingly, Russia had agreed in precedence of relaunching the NATO-Russia Council, an advisory body established in 2002 and suspended in July 2019.
However, this advice could only be a repeat of the Geneva talks, during which each side intended to maintain their positions.
The Ukrainian file is considered a “thorn in the side” of the Russians, who always doubt Kiev’s intentions, while questThe latter is constantly afraid of repeating the experience of the annexation of Crimea (in 2014) and invading its territory, while repeating at the same time that it has absolute freedom to join NATO, which constitutes a great sensitivity for the Kremlin.
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