Monday, January 17, 2022

NATO chief warns of ‘real risk of armed conflict’ after talks with Russia CBC News

NATO said on Wednesday it was willing to talk to Russia about arms control and missile deployment, but would not allow Moscow to veto Ukraine’s ambition to join the coalition, a new war in Europe. warning of the real risk of

Moscow has forced the West on the negotiating table this week by gathering nearly 100,000 troops near the border with Ukraine, a former Soviet republic that wants to join NATO.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in Brussels after four hours of talks between coalition ambassadors and a Russian delegation that NATO would not allow Moscow to make security arrangements for other countries and create dangerous spheres of influence.

“There is a real risk of new armed conflict in Europe,” Stoltenberg said at a news conference.

“There are significant differences between NATO allies and Russia,” he said. “Bridging our differences will not be easy, but it is a positive sign that all NATO allies and Russia have sat down at the same table and engaged on real topics.”

look | State Department officials question Russia’s security concerns:

US official questions Russia’s security concerns over Ukraine

US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman says Russia’s assertion of security fears around Ukraine is difficult to understand, given that Russia is a powerful and well-armed country. 1:39

Russia denies plans to invade Ukraine, but says it needs a series of guarantees for its security, including preventing further NATO expansion and from Central and Eastern European countries that joined after the Cold War. Involves the withdrawal of Coalition forces.

Stoltenberg said any use of Russian forces against Ukraine would be a serious political mistake for which Russia would pay a heavy price.

He said if Russia used force again against Ukraine, NATO could deploy additional troops to the eastern allies, from where it occupied the Crimean peninsula in 2014.

He reiterated NATO’s position that only Ukraine and NATO can decide whether Ukraine becomes a member – a possibility NATO had promised, in theory, by 2008.

Stoltenberg, however, said NATO is ready for further talks with Moscow on issues including arms control, missile deployment and confidence building measures. He said that Russia had sought time to come back to respond to this.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko, who led the Moscow delegation, has not yet briefed journalists.

Former Soviet Republics, Now in NATO, Consider Deployment

Stoltenberg’s remarks made it clear that there had been no breakthrough in the talks, which came two days after Russian and US diplomats met in Geneva and reported their differences had not diminished.

Russia has accused the West of failing to appreciate the urgency of its demands, and said it was unwilling to allow talks to drag on indefinitely.

It says that NATO’s expansion from 16 members to 30 now at the end of the Cold War – which includes a large group of ex-communist states in Central and Eastern Europe – posed a threat to its security and is now referred to as the “Red Lines”. “Need to pull protect yourself.

Meanwhile, the Baltic states are talking to NATO allies about increasing military deployment on their soil to deter Russia, Estonia’s prime minister told Reuters on Wednesday.

look | Room for talks, but many ‘red lines’ for NATO, the former official told CBC:

NATO chief warns of 'real risk of armed conflict' after talks with Russia CBC News

Will the threat of sanctions stop Russia from invading Ukraine?

“They can stop Russian bankers, but I’m not sure if they stop Russian military men or President Putin himself,” said former NATO deputy secretary general, Rose Gotemöller. 5:51

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, once ruled by Moscow, have been members of both NATO and the European Union since 2004, and have long called for greater NATO involvement.

“Of course, we are in discussions with our partners to increase our presence to act as a deterrent,” Latvian Premier Kaja Kailas told Reuters in a video interview from Tallinn without giving any details.

“If you look at the map, the Baltic states are a NATO peninsula and so we have our concerns.”

NATO units were deployed to Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland after Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

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