US & EU to discuss Russian security proposals
Following a phone call with senior EU diplomat Josep Borrell, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has agreed that Russian proposals for European security guarantees will be discussed with the bloc, Brussels has revealed.
Wednesday’s announcement that Washington will consult with EU members comes less than a week after Moscow pitched a list of proposals to America and the US-led NATO military bloc in the form of two draft treaties. The documents are made up of a list of security guarantees, including a demand that NATO won’t expand eastwards into states that were formerly a part of the USSR. If signed, it would also see troop movements near the Russian border be limited and prevent missiles being placed near the frontier.
While the EU is not formally included in the treaty proposals, Borrell, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, wants his bloc to have a seat at the negotiating table, and has asked Washington for it to be included in future discussions about Russia’s suggestions.
“Secretary Blinken and High Representative Borrell took note of the proposals presented by the Russian Federation last week regarding Russia’s views about the possible new security arrangements in Europe,” a statement released by Brussels said.
“They underlined the United States’ and the EU’s enduring partnership and shared commitments to Transatlantic security and to confronting common security challenges. They agreed that any discussion about European security will happen in coordination and with participation of the European Union.”
In a separate statement, Borrell said that any discussions of promises between Western nations and Russia must “take into account the concerns and interests of all stakeholders.”
“The EU will engage with both the US and NATO to ensure its interests are represented in any possible discussion with Russia on European security,” he said.
Other proposals that make up Russia’s treaty drafts, published last Friday, include a demand to NATO and the US that they cease any military activity on the territory of Ukraine, as well as in other Eastern European, Transcaucasian, and Central Asian states. In addition, Russia is looking for a pledge by which both parties agree not to deploy nuclear weapons in other countries and take back any already deployed abroad.