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29 Dec, 2021 17:49

Only winners can make demands, EU warns Russia

Moscow shouldn’t have any say over who can join military bloc
Only winners can make demands, EU warns Russia

Russia's insistence that NATO be stopped from enlarging eastwards towards its borders is “completely unacceptable,” the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday.

In an interview with the German newspaper Welt, Josep Borrell spoke about the two draft documents publicly released earlier this month by Moscow, which included a list of promises it wants to obtain from the US and NATO. The proposed treaties include pledges that the bloc won’t expand eastwards, as well as the removal of NATO troops and missiles away from the Russian border.

According to Borrell, this is the first time the Russian side has put its agenda in writing, something which he claims “only winners” have the right to do. The EU diplomat dismissed Moscow’s call for security guarantees and dubbed the proposed ideas as a “purely Russian agenda” with “completely unacceptable conditions,” especially with regard to Ukraine.

“We cannot compromise on fundamental principles,” he said, noting that the right of a state to decide on alliances for itself is not negotiable.

Borrell also told the German publication that the EU should be given a seat at the table in the negotiations on security in Europe. Moscow’s proposed treaties focused on European security but were sent to the US and NATO, while Brussels was excluded. Any future negotiations could take place without them at the table. According to the Eurocrat, such consultations would make sense through “close coordination with and with the participation of the EU.”

“If Moscow ... wants to talk about the security architecture in Europe and about security guarantees starting in January, this is not just a matter for America and Russia,” Borrell insisted. “We do not want to and must not be uninvolved spectators over whose heads decisions are being made.”

Earlier this month, Ukraine’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Dmitry Kuleba stated that Kiev should also be invited to negotiations.

“Decisions on Ukraine’s security can only be made with Ukraine at the table and with the EU at the table on matters of wider European security,” Kuleba wrote on Twitter.

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