White House responds to Russian security proposals
The US “will not compromise” on NATO expansion, the White House reiterated on Friday, following proposals from Russia outlining how it believes Moscow and the West can deescalate ongoing tensions in the east of Europe.
“We have seen the Russian proposals. We are discussing them with our European allies and partners,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told journalists onboard Air Force One on Friday when asked about the Russian documents.
She added that the US won’t accept the idea of stopping NATO expansion in Europe, despite what Russia wants.
“We will not compromise the key principles on which European security is built, including that all countries have the right to decide their own future and form policy free from outside interference,” she said.
Moscow sees the expansion of NATO towards its border as a critical threat to its national security, based on the bloc's confrontational stance toward Russia.
A verbal promise not to move the organisation to the east was given to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev during negotiations on the reunification of Germany. Those assurances were memory-holed after the dissolution of the USSR. In 2017, declassified US documents backed up Moscow's version of events.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, meanwhile, said that the potential dialog should include the alliance’s concerns and Ukraine’s point of view.