A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers of the Senate NATO Observer Group has slammed Russia’s security demands, including to prevent enlargement of the Alliance to Ukraine and Georgia and reiterated support to the NATO open door policy.
In the letter addressed to President Joe Biden on January 10, nine U.S. Senators stressed they find “unreasonable” security guarantees demanded by Moscow unacceptable.
According to the lawmakers, these demands are “an attempt to recreate a “Russian sphere of influence in Europe, where the Kremlin is free to coerce and bully” Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, the Baltic states, Poland and Romania.
“It is imperative the United States demonstrate our resolve and refuse to appease [President Vladimir] Putin’s unacceptable list of demands,” the Senators highlighted, pledging their support to close engagement with U.S. allies to a coordinated response to the Russian President’s “brinkmanship.”
The lawmakers appealed to the White House to continue to rebuke Moscow’s “military threats and provocations against our allies,” in light of the January 11 Strategic Stability Dialogue with Moscow as well as the Russia-NATO Council and the OSCE Permanent Council meeting to be held later in the week.
They underscored “strong bipartisan support” for among others barring Russia to have “veto power on NATO enlargement,” for the U.S. and its partners not to have and decisions or discussions about Georgia and Ukraine without involving Kyiv and Tbilisi, and for increasing NATO military presence in the Black Sea, the Baltic states and in Poland to deter Russian aggression.
Besides, the Senators argued the U.S. should sanction President Putin and his inner circle should they “continue to threaten the security of Eastern European states.”
The signatories of the missive were Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Chris Coons (D-DE), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and John Barrasso (R-WY).
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