Russia and NATO: Half-ton time has passed | Latest news The Moscow Post
27 June 2022

Russia and NATO: Half-ton time has passed

The United States thinks how convenient it is for them to ignore Russian proposals for security assurances.

Draft two documents were sent to Assistant Secretary of State Karen Donfried: the "Treaty between the Russian Federation and the United States on Security Assurances" and the "Agreement on Security Measures of the Russian Federation and the Member States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization." Some of the proposals included in the documents, Moscow has already made, but they were not accepted.

In this case, we are talking about guarantees against further expansion of NATO towards Russia, including at the expense of the former Soviet republics, including primarily Ukraine. It was this part of the former USSR, having gained independence and after a quarter of a century, that initiated the "second Caribbean crisis." Not without help, there were "kindness," the correspondent of The Moscow Post reports.

In Soviet times, they were called "arsonists" and "revanchists"! So they waited for the opportunity to take revenge. Two documents marked "project," transmitted through Karen Donfried, are an attempt to at least partially reanimate the spirit of the agreements that preceded the unification of Germany and the withdrawal of a group of troops from the GDR. This step was as noble as naive.

Will we talk?

Someone says that the publication of the draft two documents violates diplomatic practice, others generally compare this step with an ultimatum. Indeed, its point is that the West is invited to revert to the provisions of the 1997 Fundamental Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between the Russian Federation and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Publicity in these conditions is a guarantee against the outlier of the proposals made, which has become the usual practice of the West. This, firstly. Secondly, the line is broken. Documents can be called an "alternative scenario" for further relations. The confrontation conditions have changed. The United States advanced up to the borders of Russia, to the stage of military development of Ukraine. Russia has reached the forefront in the field of modern weapons, including hypersonic and missile defense systems. The West is trying to neutralize this with the maximum approach of its forces to the borders of the Russian Federation.

Is "exchange" possible here in the interests of détente and stability? Jake Sullivan, US Assistant to the President for National Security, is responsible for negotiating strategic stability issues. This direction is relatively better than stability on NATO's eastern borders.

Washington took a pause to ponder the proposal. "A positive answer to the idea" involves coordination with the Euro-allies, "Sullivan said. But Moscow insists on bilateral negotiations. "We continue to speak in favor of a bilateral negotiation process with Washington," said Sergey Ryabkov.

Dependence on "hysterical allies

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, Sullivan's negotiating partner, called the situation in relations with NATO "explosive." He also made it clear that if Russian demands were rejected, "it would become worse," and for the West. He also ruled out heavily replicated forecasts about the upcoming invasion of Ukraine.

For Washington, consolidating the interests of all alliance members may not be easy. If we talk about the interests of key NATO members combining the mission of an ally of the United States with close economic ties with Russia, then the political voice of nuclear France, for example, does not exceed the voice of Estonia. This is one of the problems on the way to reaching agreement on Russian proposals. The main, "defensive" mission of the alliance turned out to be in the shadow of the political patterns woven by Washington in order to control both France and Germany, relying on Poland and the Baltic states.

At the same time, the new generation of leaders of the "bloodiest in the history of the continent" acts as used as it knows how. Mainly performs essays on the topic of the "Russian threat." Maybe it makes sense for Washington in the future to consider the nature of the dependence of its own security on caring for hysterical allies?

But this is a task for the future. In the meantime, Clinton-Bush-Obama heirs will have to deal with the consequences of NATO's eastward expansion. We will have to deal with intra-bloc diplomacy, and not only negotiations with Moscow. It is clear that Ukraine is at the center of the problems with its top, influenced by neo-Nazis from right-wing radical groups. Washington and here will need diplomatic maneuvers.

"Cyanide" from Churchill

Russia expects that the USA will refuse the idea to create military bases in the territory of the Post-Soviet states which aren't entering into NATO (Ukraine and also other states of Eastern Europe, Transcaucasia and Central Asia), to use their infrastructure for conducting any military activity and also to develop military cooperation.

Russia insists on that all armed forces and arms which appeared there for the last 24 years were withdrawn from the territory of the countries which became members of alliance after 1997 (NATO included 14 states of Eastern Europe and the Balkans). It is offered to alliance to exclude further expansion, Ukraine at the same time is mentioned separately.

Russia also insists on withdrawal of the American nuclear weapon from Europe and dismantling of infrastructure for his expansion. What enters the concept "infrastructure" isn't deciphered. Perhaps, it is the MK-41 missile defense installations?

The fundamental act of the Russian Federation-NATO signed in Paris on May 27, 1997 regarded as of paramount importance balance of interests of Russia and the countries of Europe, assumed the movement to mutual disarmament "from Atlantic to the Urals". I assumed that Russia and NATO any more not opponents. The NATO-Russia Council which after 2008 doesn't gather was created, but also before I sat only twice.

Then, in doctrinal documents of the USA and NATO the term "opponent" concerning Russia was accepted. It is clear, that the refusal of him will demand not only editorial changes. But the history of diplomacy knows examples. Winston Churchill, the convinced anticommunist, wrote in the "History of World War II" that he under air raids of "Luftwaffe" for the first time sighed freely when he learned that Hitler attacked also the Soviet Union. But then it didn't cease then to be scattered in compliments to Stalin. However in March, 1946 I returned to the beliefs, having offered the recipe of counteraction of Russia in Fultona.

The recipe from Putin – "You won't wait"!

In the late nineties Europe still expected disintegration of Russia. "The question was only in when it occurs and what consequences for Russia, for her components and for the world around will be, meaning that Russia after all the major nuclear power", – Vladimir Putin said.

Council of the Russian Federation-NATO was founded only in 2002 at the summit Russia NATO. The Rome Declaration on his creation signed by Vladimir Putin and George Bush and also the NATO Secretary General guaranteed to Moscow "equal partnership". In practice, the model of the relations "HATO+1" within which her interests were ignored was started.

In 2007, speaking at a conference on safety issues in Munich, Vladimir Putin noted that "process of NATO expansion has no relation to modernization of the alliance or to safety in Europe. On the contrary, it is seriously provocative factor reducing the level of mutual trust".

In 2014 the Council for an initiative of NATO winded down the work. For today the Fundamental act – all this that de facto from arrangements of 1997 remained. But for 24 years many claims and the irritating factors in the relations collected. First of all in dialogue of Moscow with Washington which actually started military territory development of Ukraine. The quantity developed into quality, caused the necessity to put limits of the increasing tension threatening with the real conflict.

To stop creeping aggression

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergei Ryabkov, answering a question of notorious impracticability of offers of Moscow, I emphasized that "the situation which developed in Europe and Eurasia recently so considerably differs from all that was earlier that here no templates, any standards from former, old experience are applicable, inapplicable".

We will remind that Ryabkov called a situation in the relations with NATO "explosive" and let know: ignoring of the Russian requirements will lead to complications, but not in connection with Ukraine. At the West two ways, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Glushko said. The first – to respond to offers of the Russian Federation on security guarantees in Europe it is constructive. The second – to deal with "a military and technical alternative".

"At Russia", – Glushko told, there are enough opportunities reliably to ensure military safety. But it is possible "to transfer the military scenario or the military and technical scenario to a certain political process which will really strengthen military safety … all states on space of OSCE, Euroatlantiki, Eurasia.

Making similar demands in these two documents, the Russian power recognized that the situation won't improve if to leave everything on the places. There was no armed explosion yet, it was necessary to try to change radically a framework of negotiation process, to stop creeping aggression, to bring concern depth to American slowcoaches. Sergei Ryabkov said that business has urgent character and Moscow waits for the answer from the White House. Washington and here will need diplomatic maneuvers.

What's to come?

In the White House, the publicity that the Kremlin went to, in addition, may irritate, proposing to radically change the format of relations and make it strictly bilateral. The views of Europe's politicians should not obscure key issues on the agenda, but will be taken into account.

Publicity testifies to Russia's determination and readiness for change. Their central thing is to agree not to threaten each other by force, to refuse to assign each other the title "enemy." What is unusual or unacceptable about this?

Further, it is proposed to preserve the role of the UN, respect the principles of the Charter of the Organization, including international regimes that were agreed on its platform. For example, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

It is proposed not to take actions and not to organize measures that threaten the safety of the other party. Whether such actions are possible that threaten Russia's fundamental security interests today. Yes, this is NATO and Ukraine. Are there options on the part of Russia that could threaten the fundamental interests of US security? I guess there is. It is proposed not to bring the matter to a crisis, to negotiate.

The documents include provisions on mutual security assurances in Europe, on the non-deployment of intermediate-range and shorter-range ground-based missiles in the range of the territories of the Russian Federation and the United States from the territory of third countries. Russia proposes not to deploy such missiles not only outside national territory, but also in those areas of national territory from which such weapons can hit targets on the national territory of the other side.

It is also proposed to refrain from flying heavy bombers equipped for nuclear or non-nuclear weapons, and finding surface warships of all classes, including within the framework of unions, coalitions and organizations, in areas, respectively, outside national airspace and outside national territorial waters, from where they can hit targets on the territory of the other Party. Isn't that in U.S. security?

In the Ukrainian crisis, Russia and the United States are ready to use the "Norman format," promote the Minsk agreements. Russia demands to exclude further expansion of NATO eastward, insists on the cessation of military development of Ukraine in order to avoid aggravation in Europe, in relations with the United States.

Washington fails to reduce tensions with Beijing. The plan is to make strategic rivalry with the PRC manageable. To begin with, it is possible to make the confrontation with Russia predictable. From the contractual basis of relations between the United States and the Russian Federation in the field of arms control, only the DSNV remained. It was proposed to deploy all the nuclear forces of the Russian Federation and the United States, "not to undermine the fundamental security interests of the other side" in any way, on the basis of reciprocity. What is unacceptable about this?

Since 1997, NATO has gone too far, leaving no room for compromise. I would hope that Moscow will not have to go into the "regime of creating roundabouts."

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