Photo by Sam Oxyak
According to Secretary of State Antony Blinken Wednesday, the United States remains unshaken to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s extensive demands, even with a prospective Russian attack on Ukraine.
Blinken made the statements as he revealed that the US had put forward its formal and written reply to a series of demands from Putin the previous month concerning European security. Russia has assembled over 100,000 troops in Russia and Belarus across the border with Ukraine, triggering trepidation of a brewing invasion.
On Wednesday, John Sullivan, US Ambassador to Russia, turned over the US document to the Russian Foreign Ministry. It was shared with Congress as well.
“We make clear that there are core principles that we are committed to uphold and defend – including Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and the right of states to choose their own security arrangements and alliances,” Blinken stated.
Some of Putin’s demands include the prevention of Ukraine from joining the alliance and the retreat of the NATO military personnel and equipment from the states attached after 1997, which encompasses the three Baltic nations that sit on the boundary of Russia.
While the letter remains privately kept, Blinken has repeatedly stated the line from the US officials in recent weeks that demands of this kind are a flop. “From our perspective, I can’t be more clear: NATO’s door is open, remains open, and that is our commitment,” Blinken said.
Blinken, who went face-to-face with Russian Foreigh Minister Sergey Lavrok the previous week, is likely to meet with Lavrov once more in the days to come.
“There is no daylight among the United States and our allies and partners on these matters,” said Blinken.
Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General at NATO, reiterated in a different press conference the adherence of the defense pact to its open-door membership policy that enables any European nation to be an ally on a condition that it can fulfill particular duties.
“We cannot and will not compromise on the principles on which the security of our alliance, and security in Europe and North America, rest,” Stoltenberg remarked.
NATO also looks forward to Russia engaging in discussions about cyber-attacks, chemical warfare, and arms control, Stoltenberg stated.