Security, global. First in Geneva, then in Brussels, then in Venice. Russian diplomats report that our colleges and our demands have been brought to the attention of the American and European colleges, the same proposals for legal guarantees.
Did it work? More likely no than yes. However, no one expected that the issue would immediately move off the ground. But they already consulted on their own – the fact is rather positive. We were kept, as they say. And the fact that in the West they occupied the “hardheaded” is a quote from a source close to the negotiations, I don’t particularly mention in connection and listen, so this is not a claim against us. Moscow expects to continue, but now everything depends on the minutes of the Washington meeting, which they promised to give. What is important: our proposals are not a restaurant menu from where you can choose, the whole package is important. We are ready to become our own security.
Military equipment is transferred by air and by sea. Soldiers patrol the port. Strange things are now on the Swedish island of Gotland, 200 kilometers from Kaliningrad.
Do you think it reasonable that Russia might invade Gotland?
– Gotland is very productive. Whoever found Gotlant got that serious effect in the Baltic, says Peter Hultqvist, Swedish Defense Minister.
This military hysteria is developing against the backdrop of expectations at NATO headquarters that Sweden and Finland, if they receive an application to the North Atlantic Alliance, will be accepted not just quickly, “the next day.” Neutral countries open into a military bloc. New anti-Russian meetings come across from the USA. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov commented on the First Channel of this security service: “I assure you that if this all materializes, because there is even a proposal to pass a sentence, regardless of whether there will be such an attack on Ukraine or not, it’s just because we do not remove troops on our territory. At this international conference in Geneva, they singled out as the key to everything else, in response to our counter questions, she stated that they would not move their armed forces and their military equipment to Europe, they would not move away. This, in my opinion, does not even require any comments. The highest degree of the highest degree. Speaking about the prospects for our reaction, I will say again: we will never wave a baton, and that’s what the negotiations say, that if you don’t do that, then we will beat you. We will react to the real development of events.”
Events in this country are developing rapidly. On Monday especially with the United States in Geneva, on Wednesday the Russia-NATO Council in Brussels, Thursday at the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna. It was a real marathon.
– Is Russia ready for compromises?
“The American side should prepare for compromises,” says Sergei Ryabkov, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation.
Negotiations with the Americans, which are harsh wordings of the deputy authorized by Sergei Ryabkov, such as advising NATO to “collect their belongings”, as well as answering a foreign journalist to a question about Russia, in English to avoid any voting errors: “The next summit will be held in Madrid in June congress. It was announced that Ukraine and Georgia would never join the alliance.”
For almost eight hours, our delegation in Geneva, on behalf of a source close to the negotiations, chewed on the financial aspects of Russia’s demands for security guarantees. Further discussion continued in Brussels, at the headquarters of the North Atlantic Alliance.
What does Moscow want from NATO? Everyone is here in the draft side with the alliance. The document was published on the Russian Foreign Ministry website. Just four pages that cover safety for everyone.
NATO members should return at the turn of 1997, when the main Russia-NATO act was signed. The parties confirmed that they do not consider each other as adversaries. Moscow needs guarantees that strike systems will not be placed on our borders. Guarantees that NATO will not continue again.
Peter Kuznik, professor of history at the American University in Washington, director of the Institute for Nuclear Research: “Nobody wants Ukraine in NATO. Maybe Poland or the British want it, but I don’t want the extreme. The US does not publicly announce we will never accept Ukraine. But they can give tacit confirmation.”
Moscow, however, has already gone through this. So back in 1990, US Secretary of State Baker believed Gorbachev that NATO would not move an inch eastward. But with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the NATO bloc has almost doubled in size. It includes 14 new countries. First of all, the former allies of the USSR Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria, as well as the Baltic republics.
Mikhail Khodarenok, military expert: “Now the alliance is only 130 kilometers from such an international center as the military-industrial complex, as well as the administrative and political center, which is the city of St. Petersburg. Only 130 kilometers. By and large, this is just a few minutes of flight of a cruise missile.
So who is the final threat? Even in Geneva it became clear. Western partners will collect from Russian proposals only what is beneficial to them.
Wendy Sherman, US Deputy Secretary of State: “The ideas put forward by the United States include the deployment of missiles. We have made it clear that we are ready to discuss the future of certain missile systems in Europe.”
Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation: “They themselves said that we are ready to discuss a new regime for intermediate and shorter range missiles. No. They yanked one element out of our proposals because we put forward an initiative in our, in our papers, not to place strikes near our borders. They pulled out only this element. But if it is banned in isolation, but this is in principle a useful thing, but in isolation from the main requirements of NATO’s non-expansion in the East, it will hardly be of significant importance.
And on this fundamental issue, an impenetrable wall.
Jens Stoltenberg, secretary general of the union: “All members of the council are united in regard to the key state: everyone has the right to choose their own path.”
If this way to Washington. But what if Russia places its troops in the United States close by, for example, in Latin America? This question was asked to the US President’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan. Predictably, it’s different.
Jake Sullivan, National Security Adviser to the President of the United States: “If Russia moves in this direction, we will deal with this decisive one.”
The right of the sovereign countries of the chosen unions is enshrined in the so-called Istanbul Protocol of the OSCE. Here are just quoted in the West document with a distortion of meaning, omitting the key phrase.
– Coincidentally, the State Party will respect the rights of all others in this regard. They will not strengthen their security at the expense of the security of states of states.
Alexander Grushko, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation: “We firmly believe that the principles of ensuring security must respect the interests of all, which will lead to “building security” against Russia or without Russia’s participation, they are counterproductive, they are doomed to failure. We do not promise to do so. This means it will be with our retention policy. If it is intimidation, then it will be counterintimidation. If this is a search for some vulnerabilities in the defense system of the Russian Federation, then this will be a search for vulnerabilities on the part of NATO.”
But first, Moscow intends to wait for a response to messages from the United States and NATO. Our diplomats are counting on this answer already on suitable ground. Next, a decision will be made to accept Russia.
Nikolai Zlobin, political scientist, president of the Center for Advanced Interests in Washington: “Different types of weapons, different flight times, different understanding of security, different security requirements. Different geographic location of countries. Various explosive situations require a seriously balanced analysis. So there are no easy solutions here. And probably they could have broken on the first day if this side had needs, but they clearly have a desire to have these signs.
Dmitry Syme, political scientist, president of the Center for National Interests: “I think powerful forces can think about whether they are ready to talk about those that are paramount for Russia. And this decision, of course, will not be made by diplomats in Geneva, and in Brussels, but this decision will be made only by Biden himself.”
The fact that the situation is indeed extremely dangerous is recognized in the West. Here, for example, is an article in the Financial Times: “If this can happen, why not find some way to loudly declare what any NATO official is ready to talk about behind closed doors: that Ukraine’s NATO membership is not closed?”
The only heating incidents in the federal police are US officials criticizing former adviser to US President Ronald Reagan Patrick Buchanan. In his article, he questions NATO’s door-protection policy as voiced by Secretary of State Blinken: “There is no requirement for the US to apply for any and all countries that apply. We can veto a replacement on any occasion. Avoiding war with Russia could be one of those reasons.”
But so far only new unfriendly steps. The largest military maneuvers beyond the Arctic Circle in the past 40 years have been officially announced. They will be held in the spring 400 kilometers from the Russian borders on the territory of Norway. The United States and Great Britain are sending two aircraft carrier groups to the area.