The heads of the foreign affairs agencies of NATO member states at an extraordinary meeting agreed that the Alliance will remain firm on its expansion and Ukraine's right to join NATO. This was stated by Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at a press conference in Brussels after the meeting, reports Yevropeyska Pravda.
During the talks, the heads of the foreign ministries of NATO member states discussed their positions before the meeting of the Russia-NATO Council, which will take place next Wednesday. At this meeting, Moscow plans to discuss its proposed draft treaty providing for the distribution of spheres of influence in Europe and NATO's refusal to accept Ukraine into its ranks and generally stop NATO's eastward expansion.
According to Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO meeting showed a consensus that Russia's demands cannot be met. “All allies gave a clear signal that they would not make concessions on key principles, one of which is the right of nations to choose their own path, including choosing which security alliance to join,” he explained.
The secretary general also stressed that Russia itself had previously signed documents that exclude such requirements on its part. It was the Alliance that decided to agree to the proposal for a security dialogue with the Russian Federation and convey its position on this issue to it.
The North Atlantic Alliance will also hold a meeting with Ukraine on January 10. Back on December 10, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned Russia that its attack on Ukraine would be costly and called for a return to a diplomatic solution to the conflict.
On the same day, Russia offered NATO countries ways to defuse tensions in Europe, which arose, among other things, over Ukraine. The Russian Foreign Ministry called on Washington to join the unilateral Russian moratorium on the deployment of ground-based INF in Europe, agree and introduce the necessary measures to verify the fulfillment of mutual obligations.
In addition, Russia has released a list of security proposals that it wishes to discuss with Western countries. They contained NATO's pledge to abandon all military activities in Eastern Europe and Ukraine.
Soon, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said that in response to Russian demands on NATO, the United States of America and European allies would prepare their own list of troubling issues.