The exchanges will continue next week between Russians and Americans, with a clear basis for the Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken. The Americans laid down their conditions to avoid war: the withdrawal of Russian troops. The Russians have posed theirs, particularly regarding NATO forces in Eastern Europe: it all looks like an impossible dialogue.
The Russians lay down three conditions, but three non-negotiable conditions presented as an ultimatum. No NATO enlargement, withdrawal of NATO forces of the countries where the organization is established and no military presence in all countries that are not NATO members.
Clear, demilitarize all neighboring countries, including Ukraine, as well as Romania and Bulgaria. So not only Eastern Europe but also Southern Europe. If all the conditions are not met, the Russians assure that they will go to the confrontation. Vladimir Putin talks about military-technical response, which can mean many things.
Be that as it may, this Russian position, this intransigence, is untenable for the Europeans – their security is at stake – and for the Americans who wonder: where will Vladimir Putin stop ? After Ukraine, Poland? The Baltic States ? Ukraine is a sovereign state, any sovereign state has the right to choose its alliances, but the Kremlin wants to sanctuary a sphere of influence, that of the former Soviet Union.
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