December 6, 2022

The United States and NATO are responding to Putin’s demands as tensions in Ukraine escalate

Mr. Blinken said the United States would not release its written response “because we think diplomacy is the best chance of success if we allow secret talks,” and that the United States “hopes and expects” the Russians to agree.

It is not clear whether they will comply: last week in Geneva, Mr. After the meeting with Blinken, Mr. said he believed the US document. Lavrov said. To be made public, According to Russia’s Tass news agency. Also on Wednesday, he said his government would explain the US and NATO responses to the Russian people, even if the details were secret.

According to officials familiar with the documents, the answers begin with broad policies that NATO will not rescind its “open door” policy, and any state seeking to join the coalition may seek to do so. However he acknowledged that their numbers were not enough to defeat Ukraine’s democracy and corruption. Biden mentioned this at a news conference last week.

The documents also make it clear that Russia does not have veto power over the presence of nuclear weapons, troops or conventional weapons in NATO countries. But they also open the door to talks about mutual controls over short- and medium-sized nuclear weapons, including the revival of the interim-party nuclear deal. They also say that the United States and its allies are ready to talk about mutual rules governing the size and location of military exercises; Such limitations would ensure that the exercises were out of bounds and could not be mistaken for a force to be reckoned with for an invasion.

White House officials estimate that top U.S. officials have held more than 180 meetings with their European counterparts – a statistic that confirms their commitment to responding in full cooperation with US allies. Ukraine’s foreign minister said on Wednesday that his country had reviewed and approved responses to deal with its future.

Russia has been pushing for weeks for the United States to provide written answers to its demands, which were released in late December, before deciding on its next course of action. Russia insists it does not want to invade Ukraine, but says Kremlin plans to launch a ground offensive at any time. Mr. They warn that Putin could also attack Ukraine – where he has supported the separatist war since 2014 – in a very limited fashion.

Wednesday evening the Kremlin was quiet, but Russian lawmakers often had an initial response of rejection. Konstantin I. Kossachev, deputy speaker of the upper house of the Russian parliament, said he had not seen the written response, but had “things to discuss with the United States.”