Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused the United States of being responsible for the current tensions in Europe. During a meeting with representatives of the Russian Defense Ministry on Tuesday, the Kremlin leader said, “This is their fault.” Today Russia is in a “situation where something has to be decided”. Putin did not say what that meant. However he acknowledged that their numbers were not enough to defeat Russia’s Western aggression. At the same time, he promised that he “does not want military conflict and bloodshed.”
Putin, with his sharp comments, is pushing the US leadership to immediately negotiate with Russia on a new security structure in Europe. The Russian president openly spoke of the “long-term bond document” that he and his American colleague Joe Biden would work for instead of “oral statements”. Among other things, Russia wants a guarantee from the West that Ukraine, which became independent 30 years ago with the fall of the Soviet Union, will not join NATO.
Putin drew a scenario in which the overflow time for rockets from NATO cargo to Moscow would be reduced to seven to ten minutes, and for aviation hypersonic weapons, this flight time would be reduced if the infrastructure advanced further towards the Russian border. For five minutes. Putin said this would be a “serious challenge to Russia’s security.” During a meeting with Putin on Tuesday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said about 8,000 troops had been stationed near the Russian border with the United States and had conducted several military exercises with NATO allies. Putin said some of these were unplanned.
Stoltenberg: Troops continue to be sent
However, the cause and effect of the hazards are explained completely differently in Russia and the West. The United States, NATO, the European Union and the new German government have strongly warned Moscow against attacking Ukraine, with Russia amassing between 75,000 and 100,000 troops on its borders, according to Western secret services. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday that the march would continue unhindered. Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula in 2014 and supports separatists in the eastern Ukrainian Donbass. Stoltenberg said he would like to hold a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council early next year. However, it is unclear whether Moscow wants to do so.
Karen Tanfried, the top US diplomat in charge of Europe, opposed Putin’s “extremely aggressive rhetoric” and “the false story spread by Russia that Ukraine wants to provoke a confrontation with Russia.” He reiterated that through German and French-mediated Normandy-style talks between Russia and Ukraine, US President Biden saw only a diplomatic solution as a viable option. The goal should be to fully implement the Minsk agreement. Bilateral talks may be in early January, but not over the heads of Europeans. The central pillars of European security will not be affected, including the right of all nations to freely choose their allies.
The Ukrainian leadership under President Volodymyr Zhelensky, like the Caucasus state of Georgia, is seeking membership in NATO. Most recently, a majority of the Ukrainian population voted in favor, although not a majority. In fact, such members promised by NATO in 2008 are a long way off – even for example Georgia, a longtime NATO partner in Iraq.
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