In a draft security agreement sent to the United States and NATO members, Russia asked NATO to reject the membership demands of Ukraine and other former USSR countries and withdraw its military assets in Central and Eastern Europe. The West sent a message that ‘we have dialogue, but not under these conditions’.
RUSSIA The State Department publicly posted a draft security agreement to NATO member states, especially the United States, on its official website the previous evening. According to the draft, NATO has been asked to reject the membership requests of Ukraine and other former USSR countries and withdraw its military assets in Central and Eastern Europe. In 1997, after eastern European countries joined NATO, it was also requested to stop the deployment of troops and weapons to those countries.
REQUEST FOR EXPERIENCE
The draft also urged NATO and Russian warships and military aircraft not to be sent to points where parties such as the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea are controversial to reduce the risk of possible conflict. Thus, transparency can be increased in military exercises and confidence-building mechanisms can be established. The draft also reiterated a demand that Russia and the United States not deploy nuclear weapons in other countries. A draft security agreement containing these demands was forwarded to such parties as the United States and NATO members earlier this week. US President Joe Biden and Russian leader Vladimir Putin discussed the Ukraine crisis by video conference last week.
THE U.S. HAS CONDITIONS
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said they are ready to meet with the United States at a third location, in Geneva if desired. JAKE Sullivan, National Security Adviser to US President Joe Biden, said they were ‘ready for dialogue, they want to coordinate with European allies’. “Russia has expressed its own concerns about the actions of America and NATO, and we will put on the table our concerns about Russian actions that we believe are harming Russia’s interests and values,” Sullivan said.
‘WEAPONS NOT SENT TO AFGHANISTAN CAN GO TO UKRAINE’
Ukraine has requested military equipment from the United States that was previously scheduled to be sent to the Afghan army, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported, citing senior US and Ukrainian officials. Joe Biden’s administration is considering a plan to do so, while the White House National Security Council has not yet approved it, saying they are looking for a diplomatic solution to the problem.
MOSCOW OFFICIALLY WITHDRAWS FROM ‘OPEN SKIES’
Russia, which decided to withdraw from the Open Skies Agreement in the face of the situation caused by the official US withdrawal in November 2020, officially emerged from the agreement as of yesterday. Turkey is among the 34 countries that have signed the Open Skies Agreement, which allows reconnaissance flights to promote transparency in military activities and facilitate monitoring of arms control and other agreements. Russian official Konstantin Gavrilov said in an interview with the Izvestia daily that Russia could monitor the movements of its troops in European countries and the United States by satellite.