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US and NATO respond to Putin’s demands as Ukraine tensions escalate

Blinken said the US would not publicly respond in writing “because we think diplomacy has the best chance of success if we provide space for secret negotiations,” adding that the United States “hopes and expects” that the Russians will agree.

Whether they will comply is unclear: Lavrov said after meeting with Blinken in Geneva last week that he believes the US document should be made publicly available, based on Russia’s Tass news agency. And on Wednesday, he said his government would describe the US and NATO responses to the Russian people, even if the details remained secret.

According to officials familiar with the documents, the responses began with broad principles, including that NATO would not rescind the “open door” policy that any country that wanted to join the alliance would do. can find a way to do so. However, Mr. Biden noted at a press conference last week that Ukraine, which has struggled with democratic governance and corruption, would not qualify for years.

The documents also make it clear that Russia will not have veto power over the presence of nuclear weapons, military or conventional weapons in NATO countries. But they are open to negotiations on reciprocal restraints on short- and medium-range nuclear weapons, including the resumption of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. And they say the United States and its allies are willing to talk about common rules that limit the size and location of military exercises; Such limits would ensure that they were far from the frontier and could not be confused with a force assembled for an invasion.

White House officials estimate that senior U.S. officials have conducted more than 180 meetings with their European counterparts — a statistic intended to signal that they have ensured that the response is developed in harmony. fully cooperate with America’s allies. Ukraine’s foreign minister said on Wednesday that his country had reviewed and approved its response to its future.

Russia has insisted for weeks that the United States will provide a written response to its requests, made in late December, before it decides on its next course of action. Russia insists it has no intention of invading Ukraine, but US officials say the Kremlin has drawn up plans for a ground attack that could happen at any time. They warned that Mr. Putin could also attack Ukraine – where he has supported the separatist war since 2014 – in a more limited manner.

The Kremlin was silent on Wednesday night, but Russian lawmakers had an initial response that was mostly dismissive. Konstantin I. Kosachev, Vice President of the Russian Senate, said “there are things to discuss with the United States” although he has not seen a written reply.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/26/us/politics/russia-demands-us-ukraine.html US and NATO respond to Putin’s demands as Ukraine tensions escalate

Fry Electronics Team

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