NATO delivers written ‘proposals’ to Russia
NATO on Wednesday said it had delivered a set of written “proposals” to Russia, after Moscow issued a raft of demands to roll back US influence in eastern Europe.
“NATO has conveyed its proposals to Russia this afternoon, in parallel with the United States,” a NATO official said.
Diplomats told AFP that the document was being handed over to the Russian ambassador in Belgium, where the alliance’s headquarters are located.
Russia said that it had received a separate response in Moscow from Washington to the Kremlin’s security demands from US ambassador John Sullivan.
Moscow blindsided the West by publishing two draft treaties for the United States and NATO in December that would roll back Western influence in eastern Europe.
The demands were issued as tensions soared after Moscow massed around 100,000 troops on its border with Ukraine — in a move the West has warned could be the prelude to a large-scale invasion.
The Kremlin wants NATO to guarantee pro-Western Kyiv will never join the military alliance and commit to pulling back forces from its eastern European flank.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was due to give a news conference to discuss the response.
He has said the alliance is willing to listen to Russian “concerns”. But he insists NATO will not compromise on its “core principles” — including the right of its partners to choose their own path.