Putin draws red lines with Ukraine and NATO

President Vladimir Putin has said Russia cannot accept a hostile military alliance at its doorstep.

Addressing African leaders on July 28, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Ukraine’s membership in NATO would be a vital threat to Russia’s national security and Moscow would not let it go. there.

Mr. Putin was referring to a 1990 statement that said Soviet Ukraine was a sovereign state that would pursue a path of permanent neutrality.

“The declaration on white paper, in black ink, clearly states that Ukraine is a neutral country. This is of fundamental importance. We do not understand why the West is trying to draw Ukraine into NATO, but we believe that that entails a threat to our security,” the Kremlin owner emphasized.

“We cannot accept that the military facilities of a hostile military alliance are increasingly close to Russia’s borders,” the Russian leader said.

At the end of 2021, Russia announced a series of security proposals to the West, including requiring NATO to withdraw all troops and weapons from countries that joined the alliance after 1997, including Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia and Balkan countries.

However, the US and its NATO allies flatly rejected what Russia considers “core” security proposals, agreeing to discuss only a few issues such as missile control in Europe. Under NATO’s open door policy, any European country willing to fulfill its membership commitments and obligations is welcome to join the alliance.

Moscow says this is one of the main reasons why Russia has no choice but to launch a “special military operation” in Ukraine, a neighboring country that has long pursued plans to join NATO.

After the Russia-Ukraine conflict broke out, Western countries continuously provided military aid to Kiev. Moscow believes that this shows that the US and its allies are directly intervening in the Ukraine war.

At the Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg on July 28, President Putin affirmed that Russia wanted to be ready for negotiations to end the conflict. Meanwhile, he said that Kiev had passed a law banning negotiations with Moscow and abandoned the agreement negotiated in March 2022 in Türkiye.

According to Putin, during last year’s negotiations, Ukraine initially agreed to sign a neutrality agreement that would limit Kiev’s arsenal of heavy weapons. However, Kiev withdrew the agreement soon after.

Ukrainian officials later said there would be no peace talks until Russia withdrew its troops from Crimea and the territories it controlled in Ukraine.

Moscow considers Kiev’s demands “unacceptable” and says Ukraine must accept “a new territorial reality”. Russia also affirmed that it will achieve all the goals set out in the military operation.

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