Brussels (Brussels Morning) Tensions between the West and Russia continue to rise, with Moscow calling on the US on Monday to respond urgently to its list of security proposals.
While Western countries are alarmed by Russia’s build-up of troops near Ukraine, Moscow wants NATO to guarantee that it will not strengthen its presence in Ukraine and Eastern Europe, Reuters reports.
The US had previously described some of Russia’s demands as unacceptable and announced that it would respond this week in more detail.
Konstantin Gavrilov, head of the Russian delegation to Vienna, pointed out on Saturday that relations between NATO and Moscow had reached “a moment of truth.”
“The conversation needs to be serious and everyone in NATO understands perfectly well despite their strength and power that concrete political action needs to be taken, otherwise the alternative is a military-technical and military response from Russia”, he warned.
Russia calls for urgency
Sergei Ryabkov, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, noted that Moscow had yet to receive a response from the White House.
“I think they’ll try to turn this into a slow-moving process, but we need it to be urgent, because the situation is very difficult. It is acute. It tends to become more complicated”, he observed.
Germany’s Minister of Defence, Christine Lambrecht, insisting that Moscow cannot “dictate” terms to NATO, did point out that the alliance will discuss Russia’s proposals for NATO’s military affairs on the eastern border.
Speaking during her visit to Lithuania, she declared that “we need to solve the current tensions on the diplomatic level but just as well by putting up a credible deterrence.”
“We have to talk to each other, which means discussing the proposals that Russia has put forward”, Lambrecht said.
Her Lithuanian counterpart, Arvydas Anušauskas, said it was vital to resist Russian efforts to divide Europe again and concluded that “we need to support Ukraine with all means, which includes the delivery of lethal weapons.”On Friday, Russia presented NATO with a list of demands, which, according to DW reporting on Sunday, included a call for the withdrawal of NATO’s forward presence from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. In addition, Moscow wants legal guarantees that NATO will scrap its expansion plans in Ukraine and Eastern Europe.