NATO is alarmed at the possibility of Russia invading Ukraine.
He does not believe that the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, is bluffing with his threats, according to the statements made this Friday by the secretary general of the Atlantic Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg: “The military concentration of Russia continues around Ukraine and it is accompanied by a threatening speech from Moscow if their demands are not accepted.
However, they are unacceptable and the risk of a new conflict is real ”.
After more than two years without being held, the NATO-Russia council will meet next Wednesday. Highly on the agenda is growing tension on the Russia-Ukraine border, where the Kremlin has dispatched more than 100,000 troops in recent months. The movement has unleashed increasing pressure on Moscow from various points that, for now, has not materialized. It remains in the bombastic "enormous sanctions" that the European Council launched at the end of December and in the "economic, financial and political sanctions" that Stoltenberg pronounced after the meeting held this Friday with the foreign ministers of the 30 allied countries that make up NATO and with those who prepared the meeting on January 12.
"Ukraine is not an ally, but it is a valuable partner," said the secretary-general. This phrase justifies how far the allies are willing to go and where their limits lie in helping Kiev. Not being a member of The Alliance, if the military aggression finally occurs, there will be no military response from the NATO member states, since this solidarity response is reserved for the members of the organization. However, there will be "political and practical support," Stoltenberg warned, noting that this translates into sending materials and supplies, if necessary.
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine exploded in 2014, when citizen protests, symbolized by the Maidan Square in Kiev, forced the pro-Russian government of Victor Yanukovych to approach the European Union. This was enough and ended with the fall of that Executive. Putin reacted by ordering the invasion of Crimea and, in addition, a war broke out in the easternmost regions of Ukraine, where there is a majority of the pro-Russian population. Since then, the Donbas region has lived in a tense calm with continuous violations of the ceasefire. In recent months, the tension has skyrocketed with the troop movements launched by the Kremlin.
That Russia goes to the convocation of the Council after all this time and in these circumstances is "a positive sign", admitted Stoltenberg.
Although it is not enough, at the end of the telematic meeting, the head of the British Foreign Office, Liz Truss, was demanding on Twitter: “The Russian Government must proceed with the de-escalation, continue through diplomatic channels and respect the commitments acquired on transparency in the maneuvers military ”.
The UK 🇬🇧 and our @NATO allies discussed our united approach to counter Russia's aggression and disinformation.
Read my statement following today's NATO Foreign Ministers' Meeting 👇 pic.twitter.com/0jlD9iMv16
- Liz Truss (@trussliz) January 7, 2022
Wednesday's meeting is not the only important meeting on the conflict looming over eastern Europe. Two days earlier, on Monday, delegations from the United States and Russia will meet in Geneva. In principle they will talk about arms control, but this source of conflict is also likely to be on the table. However, this conversation has a specific limit on this point: the commitment that Washington would have assumed with its European partners not to negotiate a solution to this problem without counting on them.
"A negotiation on security in Europe will not continue without Europeans at the table," stressed Stoltenberg, in line with what other European leaders have been demanding these days, such as the High Representative for Foreign Policy of the European Union, Josep Borrell , or the French president, Emmanuel Macron.
With this warning, Brussels, as well as the rest of the European capitals other than Moscow or the countries that fall under its influence, are trying to scare away Putin's claim to resuscitate the foreign policy that followed the Second World War, in which two major Powers divided their respective spheres of influence in Europe.
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