NATO-Russia talks come to nought

RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 12 Jan 2022 by Alex Teddy

On January 12 the talks on Ukraine did not reach an agreement. NATO refused to rule out NATO membership. Both sides agreed to continue negotiating.

Moscow wanted limits on the numbers of NATO troops deployed in Eastern Europe. NATO has not agreed to such a measure since the Cold War. Russia is offering no concession in return?

The NATO countries bordering Russia are Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Norway.

NATO repeated its anxiety over what it says is the presence of 100,000 troops on the border of Ukraine. These troops cannot stay there forever. Such deployments are pricey. They either have to act or return to barracks. The Russian troops are entirely in Russian territory. Some of them are deployed in Volgagrad: far from the border.

Russia is already withdrawing troops from Kazakhstan. This suggests that Russia does not want its troops abroad for any longer than necessary. This successful peacekeeping mission was a useful example for Russia to cite in the conference.

Moscow said it was not giving an ultimatum but is worried about the encroachment of NATO on Russia. It considers NATO confrontational.

This was the first NATO-Russia Council in over 2 years. NATO also wants to speak about arms control.

The US said if Russia walks away from talks it will prove they were never committed to finding peaceful solutions. The US reiterated its wish for Russia to de-escalate the situation.

Western experts see the Russian troop buildup on Ukraine's frontier as a bid to intimidate NATO into concessions. Russia has offered no alternative explanation but says it is not threatening. Russia conducts military drills periodicall...

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