NATO weighs Russia’s security proposal to end the impasse in Ukraine

NATO foreign ministers are discussing Russia’s military build-up around Ukraine

BRUSSELS-Before a week of high-level diplomacy aimed at ending the deadlock, NATO foreign ministers discussed on Friday the Russian military build-up around Ukraine because of the relief proposed by President Vladimir Putin The credibility of the tense proposal is doubtful.

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Brinken and his colleagues held an online meeting to prepare for the NATO-Russia Council’s first meeting in more than two years. The meeting in Brussels on Wednesday will give the NATO ambassador the opportunity to discuss Putin’s security proposal face-to-face with the Russian envoy.

This is all part of a series of meetings involving senior officials from NATO, the United States and Russia, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to be held next week.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday that it is important to talk to Russia about its concerns and that he will talk to Putin again “in the next few days.”

“Dialogue does not mean concessions,” Macron told reporters at an event in Paris that marked the start of France’s six-month term at the helm of the European Union.

Most of the contents of Moscow’s public documents-the draft agreement with NATO countries and the proposed treaty between Russia and the United States-seem to be impossible for this 30-nation military organization, although there are concerns that Putin may Will order an invasion of Ukraine.

NATO will have to agree to stop all membership plans, not just the joining plan with Ukraine, and end military exercises near the Russian border. In exchange, Russia will respect its international commitments to limit wargames, end aircraft buzzing incidents, and other low-level hostilities.

Signing such an agreement would require NATO to reject key parts of its founding treaty. According to Article 10 of the Washington Treaty of 1949, the organization can invite any European country that is willing to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic region and fulfill its membership obligations.

Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in 2014 and later supported the separatist rebellion in the east of the country. For more than seven years, this battle has killed more than 14,000 people and destroyed the industrial heartland of Ukraine, the Donbass.

Russia denies that it has a new plan to attack neighboring countries, but Putin wants legal guarantees that exclude NATO’s expansion and deployment of weapons. Moscow said it expects a response to this month’s security proposal.

The NATO-Russia Council was established twenty years ago. However, NATO terminated its cooperation with Russia through the NRC in 2014 after annexing Crimea. Wednesday’s meeting will be the first meeting since July 2019. NATO officials stated that Russia would refuse to participate in the meeting as long as Ukraine is included on the agenda.

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Associated Press writers Samuel Petrequin and Sylvie Corbet in Paris contributed to this report.

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