El Pais: US urges Russia to withdraw troops from Georgia and Moldova
El País publishes US response to Russia’s demands
On February 2, the Spanish newspaper El País published US and NATO responses to Russia’s demands, in which the US called on Russia to withdraw troops from Georgia and Moldova.
The US Department of State and Defense confirmed that the materials published on Wednesday are real copies of the US response, although it is not known how the documents that the US asked Moscow not to disclose got into the Spanish press.
- Russian FM Sergey Lavrov: Georgia is being dragged into NATO against its people’s will
- US Ambassador: Georgia has right to choose its partners
What is written in the document
Russia demanded NATO and the US to provide security guarantees in December 2021. In addition to the main demands, the Kremlin also asked for the further expansion of NATO to the east to be stopped, for the former Soviet republics not to be allowed to join the alliance, and for NATO to refrain from military activities in Ukraine, other parts of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia.
According to a document published by El País, the United States and NATO reaffirmed their support for the “open door” policy – readiness for NATO expansion to the east.
The US State Department’s response also notes that the scale of NATO is proportional to the strength of Russia, and promises that they will not deploy strike forces and nuclear weapons in Eastern Europe – this is what Russia fears. Washington connects the strengthening of the alliance’s forces in the east with the concentration of Russian troops exclusively on the border with Ukraine.
At the same time, the West is ignoring Moscow’s demand to dismantle NATO’s infrastructure to the 1997 level. NATO responds to Russia’s demands to refrain from military activities in the post-Soviet countries as follows: “Russia must withdraw its troops from Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova”.
According to the published document, the United States and NATO are ready to continue dialogue with Russia on the issue of security, but the main condition for this is the de-escalation of the situation around Ukraine and the withdrawal of its troops.
The United States also agreed to negotiate a new nuclear deal and, after consultations with Kyiv, on the non-deployment of surface-to-air missiles in Ukraine if Moscow takes similar steps.
The United States and NATO offer to conduct an arms control dialogue with Russia in exchange for a de-escalation of the situation in Ukraine and the withdrawal of Russian troops from Crimea, Transnistria, South Ossetia, and Abkhazia.
Western leaders and Ukrainian authorities say Russia has deployed more than 100,000 troops to Ukraine’s borders and that a Russian invasion of Ukraine is possible in the near future.
Russia denies any intention to invade Ukraine but is demanding official “security guarantees” from the US and NATO countries, including guarantees that Ukraine and Georgia will never join NATO.
Washington and Brussels refused to comply with Russia’s demands, nevertheless offering to continue the dialogue.
As a result of negotiations and exchanges of written messages, Russia, on one side, and the United States and NATO, on the other, have not yet come to an agreement.