Russia makes ‘Cold War-era demands’ – Germany
Germany has claimed that Russia’s military activity is endangering peace in Europe ahead of a major international security forum in Munich.
“With an unprecedented build-up of troops along Ukraine’s border, and by making Cold War-era demands, Russia is calling into question the fundamental principles of the European peace order,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said in a statement on Friday. The claim comes ahead of the annual Munich Security Conference.
Baerbock also called on Moscow to “take serious steps toward de-escalation.”
Russia has been demanding that NATO pull its troops from Eastern Europe and provide legally binding assurances that the Western bloc will stop expanding eastward. Moscow said that it sees NATO military infrastructure close to its borders as a threat.
NATO has rejected these demands, but said it was ready for dialogue to ease tensions with Russia. Moscow highlighted the need for more talks as well. At the same time, Russia said that NATO was ignoring its key concerns.
The bloc also accused Russia of amassing troops and military hardware with the intention to attack Ukraine, which Moscow has denied.
Russia announced earlier this month that, for the first time in two decades, it will skip this year’s Munich conference. The annual gathering in southern Germany is regarded as one of the world’s top platforms for officials and experts to exchange views on current affairs.
However, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Moscow was losing interest in the event because it “has been transforming into a purely trans-Atlantic forum, losing its inclusivity.”
Baerbock, on the other hand, argued on Friday that “Russia is indeed missing an opportunity by not taking advantage of this gathering.”
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Tuesday, where they discussed ways to resolve the crisis.