Putin calls for guarantees that NATO will not expand eastward in Ukraine

According to the Kremlin, Russian President Vladimir Putin calls for a legally binding guarantee that NATO will not expand eastward, including Ukraine, and plans to raise the issue in an upcoming phone call with President Biden.

On Friday, the Ukrainian defense minister said Russia has amassed over 94,000 troops on the Ukrainian border and could prepare for a full-scale invasion in late January.

On Friday, President Joe Biden promised to make it very difficult for the Russian president to take military action in Ukraine, explaining that his administration is developing a full set of plans to deter any Russian aggression.

Biden told reporters on Friday that his top national security officials “are putting together what I believe will be the most comprehensive and meaningful set of steps to make it very difficult for Putin to move forward on this.”

Putin attributed the growing tensions to increased NATO activity near Russia’s borders, including Western support for Ukrainian government forces fighting Russia-backed separatists in the Donbass region.

and met Foreign Minister Anthony Blinken with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Stockholm on Thursday to ask for the escalation to be reduced. He warned that the United States and its allies would “impose dire costs and consequences” – including unprecedented economic sanctions – if Russia took further action.

Lavrov responded by saying that NATO was “playing with fire” with its maneuvers near the Russian border and that Moscow was ready to take “retaliatory measures to correct the military strategic balance”.

NATO promised Ukraine membership in 2008 but refused to set a timetable due to concerns about corruption and the implications of integrating a country previously invaded by Russia.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg condemned the Kremlin on Wednesday for suggesting that a threat to a sovereign country like Ukraine was a “provocation”. “Only Ukraine and 30 NATO allies can decide when Ukraine is ready to join NATO,” Stoltenberg said. Russia has no veto, Russia has no voice in chapter and Russia has no right to create a sphere of influence to try to control its neighbors.

For his part, a high-level assistant in Putin’s foreign policy said Friday that the US and Russia are setting the date for a video call with Biden.

In addition to guarantees against NATO expansion eastward, the assistant said, Putin will seek to impose an embargo on “weapons systems that would threaten us in the territory of neighboring countries, including Ukraine”.

It will be the second time Biden has spoken with Putin since June, when the two leaders met in Geneva as part of Biden’s drive for a more “stable” and “predictable” relationship with Russia.

Read More About: World News