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Moscow Draft Demands NATO, U.S. Deny Accession of Ex-Soviet Republics

Russian Foreign Ministry (MID) has handed to U.S. diplomats proposed draft deals between Moscow and Washington, as well as Russia and NATO allies, on security guarantees, which envisages among others preventing NATO’s eastward enlargement and denying accession of former Soviet republics, including Georgia and Ukraine.

The proposed deal would also obligate the U.S. not to establish military bases in former Soviet Republics that are not already NATO members or use their infrastructure for any military activities or develop bilateral military cooperation with them.

The proposal also envisages barring both the U.S. and Russia from deploying their armed forces or weaponry in areas “where such deployment could be received by the other party as a threat to its national security” besides within their own land.

It also includes a provision that would prohibit both countries from flying bombers or sailing warships of any type in areas outside the national airspace or territorial waters, “from where they can attack targets in the territory of the other party.”

Similar restrictions would also bar both sides from deploying ground-launched intermediate or short-range missiles, and the deployment of nuclear weapons. Additionally, the provision on nuclear armaments would see such equipment returned to the signatories’ national territories.

As for the proposal for NATO, the Allied states would take up obligations that would preclude any further enlargement of NATO, including the accession of Ukraine and other states.

It also highlights that participants in the agreement would refuse to conduct any military activity in Ukraine, as well as other states of Eastern Europe, South Caucasus, or Central Asia.

The draft deal with NATO also includes a prohibition on the deployment of land-based intermediate and short-range missiles in areas allowing Russia or the Alliance to reach the territory of the other.

As per the proposal, countries that were NATO members as of May 27, 1997, would not be allowed to deploy additional forces to any other European states in addition to the forces already stationed as of that date.

After handing over the draft documents on December 15, the MID stated on December 17 that the “American side was given detailed explanations of the logic of the Russian approach.” The Ministry expressed its hope that the U.S. will enter into “serious talks” with Russia on the basis of the draft treaties.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on November 18 tasked the MID to draft the proposed deals. He argued that the Western allies supplied Kyiv with lethal weapons and carried out “provocative military maneuvers” in regions close to Russia, including in the Black Sea. The President had argued that Russia can no longer continue “constantly thinking about what may happen tomorrow.”

NATO, U.S. Respond

North Atlantic Council stated on December 16 said regarding the proposals “we are clear that any dialogue with Russia would have to proceed on the basis of reciprocity, address NATO’s concerns about Russia’s actions, be based on the core principles and foundational documents of European security, and take place in consultation with NATO’s European Partners.”

The Council stated it would be prepared to work on strengthening confidence-building measures should Russia take steps to reduce tensions.

The U.S. State Department on December 17 cited an unnamed senior administration official as saying that “we are ready to discuss” the proposals, but highlighting that “there are some things in those documents that the Russians know will be unacceptable, and they know that.”

The official said there are other things that Washington is ready to work on, but not without the involvement of its allies and partners. “Nothing about European Security without Europeans in the room.”

“Any dialogue with Russia has got to proceed on the basis of reciprocity,” the official asserted adding that “We and our allies have plenty of concerns about Russia’s dangerous and threatening behavior, and those will have to be raised in any conversation that we have.”

Pledging that the U.S. will not compromise on “key principles on which European security is built,” the official noted that President Joe Biden has told President Putin that all countries, including Ukraine and other NATO Allies, have the right to decide their foreign policy course without outside interference.

Moscow’s proposition comes following the December 7 video conference between the U.S. and Russian Presidents, among others over the Russian military build-up near Ukraine and the U.S.-Russia dialogue on Strategic Stability.

This article was last updated at 18:52, December 20.

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