The United States is not willing to agree to the demands that Russia believes are most important. The question is, what is President Vladimir Putin doing then?
The United States and Russia began negotiations in Geneva on Monday to try to reach an agreement. Russia has gathered large forces on the border with Ukraine, and President Vladimir Putin has in practice said that there will be war if the United States and NATO do not meet a number of demands. Among other things, there are:
- Ukraine must never join NATO, and the West must stay completely away from the neighboring country.
- NATO is stopping all enlargement to the east, which would also apply to Sweden and Finland, and NATO must withdraw troops and missiles from Eastern Europe.
- Stop all military activities in Ukraine, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia.
In practice, this would mean reversing security policy developments in Europe since the fall of the Soviet Union 30 years ago.
The United States would agree to disarm Europe: ban certain types of missiles with nuclear warheads and cut the number of troops and exercises in areas near the borders. The Americans said in cash no to the demands that the Russians have said are a minimum for them. Experts believe that the situation is therefore just as unclear, and that the danger of war is still great. The question is what Putin will do if he does not get what he wants.
Why is Putin coming up with the tough demands and threats of war now? A conflict a year and a half ago should be the reason, several experts believe.
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