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NATO delivers response to Russia on European security

Military alliance calls on Russia to withdraw forces from Ukraine, engage in talks on arms control

Agnes Szucs   | 26.01.2022
NATO delivers response to Russia on European security


NATO has delivered its response to Russia on European security arrangements, the alliance’s chief announced on Wednesday.

“NATO is a defensive alliance and we do not seek confrontation. But we cannot and will not compromise on the principles on the security of our alliances and security of Europe and North America,” Jens Stoltenberg said at a news conference.

In its reply to two draft agreements handed by Russia to the US and NATO last December, NATO rejected Russian demands to withdraw its troops and weapons from eastern Europe and to halt the transatlantic integration of Ukraine.

The military alliance also called on Russia to de-escalate tensions with Ukraine and engage in a dialogue.

“Russia should refrain from coercive force posturing, aggressive rhetoric, and malign activities directed against allies and organizations,” Stoltenberg said, calling on Russia to withdraw its forces from Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova.

In the written response, NATO invited Russia to re-establish offices in Moscow and Brussels after breaking diplomatic ties last year and to set up new communications channels, including a civilian hotline for emergencies.

The military alliance also urged Russia to start “a serious conversation on arms control, including nuclear weapons and ground-based intermediate and short-range missiles,” Stoltenberg said.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also announced on Wednesday that the US officially replied to Moscow’s proposals on European security arrangements.

He said there was a “potential for progress” with Russia in areas of arms control and transparency.

The US, with its European allies, has been warning that Russia is setting the stage for invasion of Ukraine and has pre-positioned over 100,000 troops on its border with the former Soviet republic alongside significant artillery and tank deployments.

Moscow has denied preparing for a military offensive, saying its troops are there for regular exercises. It has, instead, issued a list of security demands to the US and NATO, including Ukraine not joining NATO, to calm existing tensions.

NATO has begun to increase its presence in eastern Europe following Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014.

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