The United States denied Russian demands to ban Ukraine from NATO countries, amid warnings Russia might attack its neighbor. Instead, Antony Blinken, the U.S. Secretary of State, gave Moscow an official response to its demands to resolve the Ukraine crisis. Blinken said he was offering Russia a significant diplomatic path ahead, should Moscow choose it.
A minister of Russia said that his government would study the response of Blinken in detail, delivered in coordination with the NATO members. Russia issued a written list of its demands and concerns about expanding the NATO military coalition and related security issues. Among those concerns, NATO was demanding to discard the possibility of Ukraine and other countries ever joining the alliance.
The United States rejected Russian demands to ban Ukraine from the NATO alliance amid threats Russia might attack its neighbor. Instead, Antony Blinken, the Secretary of State, was giving Russia an official response to its demands to resolve the crisis regarding Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/juLWLJealE
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Preparation for a Possible Invasion
During the last some weeks, Russia has been deploying a significant number of military troops on its border near Ukraine – something which Western nations perceived as a preparation for a likely invasion. On the other hand, Russia denied all those allegations regarding the attack. Blinken expressed that the United States’ response made its fundamental principles clear, including the sovereignty of Ukraine and its right to choose to be part of security coalitions like NATO.
He said that there should be no doubt regarding the U.S. seriousness of intent when it comes to diplomacy, and the NATO forces are acting with equal passion and focus on strengthening the defenses of Ukraine and preparing a quick united response to the further Russian invasion. Still, it remains up to Moscow to decide how to respond to aggression. Blinken said that this week, the United States sent three military assistance shipments – including anti-armor weaponry and Javelin missiles, as well as hundreds of tons of equipment and ammunition.
The Secretary of State also denied any conflict or difference of opinion between the United States and its European partners. Blinken said that NATO prepared its own proposals, ultimately reinforcing the U.S. and vice versa. However, the American document will not share as publicly. Blinken said that diplomacy has the best chance to succeed if it provides space for confidential dialogs.
Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Security General, said that the document of the alliance had also been delivered to Russia. However, while he was ready to listen to the concerns of Russia, all countries had the right to choose their own security arrangements. Earlier on Wednesday, the Foreign Minister of Russia Sergei Lavrov said that Stoltenberg had lost touch with reality.
Separately, diplomats from Germany, Russia, France, and Ukraine reaffirmed a commitment to be a long-standing truce deal in Ukraine, seeing Russia-backed insurgents capture territory in the eastern Donbas region. The French presidency statement said that all four countries continue to support the cease-fire irrespective of differences on other matters related to the 2015 Minsk deals. However, Dmitri Kozak, the deputy chief of the Kremlin, characterized the eight-hour dialogs in Paris as not simple, and the group is due to meet again in fifteen days in Berlin.