Home LATEST NEWS Russia remains open to dialogue, despite the rejection of its demands

Russia remains open to dialogue, despite the rejection of its demands


The United States and theNorth Atlantic Treaty Organization unsurprisingly formally rejected key demands from Moscow on Wednesday, namely an end to the EU’s enlargement policyNorth Atlantic Treaty Organization and a return from its military deployments on the 1997 borders.

Russia sees these points as existential threats fueling the risk of conflict in Ukraine. It therefore wants to redesign the European security architecture resulting from the end of the Cold War and theSoviet Union.

We cannot say that our points of view have been taken into account, or that there is a will to take our concerns into consideration. »

A quote from Dmitry Peskov, Kremlin spokesman

We won’t drag out our reaction […], but don’t expect that reaction to happen there, now, he added.

The head of Russian diplomacy Sergei Lavrov noted the absence of positive answer to the main question raised by Russia.

But he left the door open to the resumption of dialogue, noting thatthere is an (American) reaction which makes it possible to hope for the beginning of a serious conversation on secondary questions.

Explicit support from China

The head of American diplomacy Antony Blinken indicated that he had proposed a serious diplomatic way in Moscow with a view to de-escalation. In the past, Westerners have raised issues such as arms control and military transparency measures as matters of common interest.

Washington further urged Moscow not to invade neighboring Ukraine, an offensive that would result in global risks.

Tens of thousands of Russian soldiers have been camping on the Ukrainian border with their armored vehicles since the end of 2021, and the number 2 of American diplomacy Wendy Sherman judged that Vladimir Putin could take action maybe between now and mid-February.

Aerial view of tanks and barracks in a forest.

This satellite image from January 22, 2022 shows troops gathering in Brest, Belarus, very close to the border with Poland and Ukraine. Russia is planning military exercises there in February.

Photo: Associated Press/Maxar Technologies

Russia denies any invasion plans, but feels threatened by the expansion of theNorth Atlantic Treaty Organization for 20 years as well as by Western political and military support for its Ukrainian neighbour.

She warned that the rejection of its demands would result in reprisals, sweeping away the threats of unprecedented sanctions that the West says it wants to impose in the event of an offensive in Ukraine.

Moscow can be satisfied Thursday with explicit support from China, the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi, having defended Thursday the reasonable concerns of Russia for his safety, during a telephone exchange with his American counterpart Antony Blinken.

Glimmer of hope for a truce in the east

If Ukraine aspires to join theNorth Atlantic Treaty Organization, Westerners have been telling them for years that such an enlargement is not in the cards.

The Kremlin, on the other hand, is calling for legal guarantees on the end of the expansion of the Alliance, which the West refuses to do in the name of the right of States to choose their allies.

A principle that Mr. Lavrov opposed on Thursday to the need to take into account the security interests of any other State, including Russia.

Ukraine does receive Western assistance, even if the Ukrainian authorities consider it limited, while the Kiev army has faced pro-Russian separatists since 2014 in the east of the country.

Despite its repeated denials, Moscow appears to be the instigator of this conflict triggered after the annexation of Ukrainian Crimea.

In this case, a glimmer of hope appeared on Wednesday evening after weeks of warlike rhetoric: a meeting in Paris brought together Russian, Ukrainian negotiators and Franco-German mediators. The latter resumed an appointment for February, promising to work to guarantee a truce in the East.

Call to arm the separatists

France hailed a good sign of re-engagement from the Russians despite the Difficult conditions, before an interview on Friday between President Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Putin.

At the same time, however, the Kremlin party United Russia on Wednesday called on Russian authorities to arm separatists in Ukraine.

Thursday, the main representative of these secessionists called for modern weapons, in particular to deal with Ukrainian drones, acquired from Turkey and reputed to be extremely effective.

Reinforcing the feeling of a possible military escalation, Washington has urged on Wednesday its nationals at consider leaving now from Ukraine.

The Ukrainian authorities consider the threat more measured, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kouleba having estimated that the 100,000 Russian soldiers on the border would not be enough to a full-scale offensive against Ukraine.

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