Monday, May 16

Stoltenberg has answered Putin: – We are facing a critical moment

NATO has responded to Russia’s demand for withdrawal from Eastern Europe. – This is about the nations’ right to choose their own path, says Jens Stoltenberg.

Jens Stoltenberg held a press conference at NATO Headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday night.

NATO has now responded to Russia, more than a month after the Russians submitted a long list of comprehensive demands to NATO. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg held a press conference on the answer on Wednesday night.

The tension is increasing, he says.

Russia continues its military build-up. Russia is sending thousands of troops and hundreds of planes to Belarus. It happens under the guise of being an exercise, but these are battle-ready troops. This makes us more worried, says Stoltenberg.

– We are facing a critical moment for Euro-Atlantic security. We ask Russia once again to de-escalate the situation, he says.

Answered in writing on Wednesday

Stoltenberg has sent NATO’s response to Russia today. The answer is based on three areas where agreement is possible, he says.

The first point is dialogue:

Russia has cut diplomatic ties with NATO. We should re-establish the offices in Brussels and Moscow, says Stoltenberg.

The second point is that NATO is willing to listen to Russia’s concerns, says Stoltenberg. NATO maintains that countries in Eastern Europe have the right to self-government.

Russia must withdraw its forces from Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova. This is about respecting nations and the nations’ right to choose their own path, he says.

The third point is disarmament.

– Reducing the threat from nuclear weapons is something we can all benefit from, he says.

Stoltenberg has invited Russia to talks in the NATO-Russia Council.

The United States has also responded

On Wednesday, the United States also delivered a response to Russia. The answer has not been published.

– We will not publish the document, says US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken at a press conference on Wednesday night.

He justifies this with the fact that diplomacy should take place in confidence.

– Our response is fully coordinated with Ukraine and our European allies, says Blinken.

– The document we have provided contains our concerns about Russia’s actions. But also our proposals, in areas where we can find common ground. We see opportunities for progress in areas such as nuclear disarmament, says Blinken.

The United States will not accept the most important Russian demands, says the foreign minister. But he also says that the answer opens up a diplomatic way out of the conflict.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken held a press conference on Wednesday night.

Many Russian demands

On December 17 last year, the Russian government sent a series of demands for a completely new security policy in Europe. The demands were poorly received on the western side.

Russia demanded, among other things, that NATO withdraw all forces from countries that were not members of the alliance before 1997. This applies to a number of Eastern European member countries, but Russia has in recent weeks placed the greatest emphasis on Bulgaria and Romania.

Russia has also demanded that Western countries stop all military support for Ukraine. In addition, the Russian government will guarantee that Ukraine can never join NATO.

Both NATO and the United States have rejected the Russian demands.

At the same time, Russia has built up a massive military force on the border with Ukraine.

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