A day after the Russian demand that NATO should withdraw all troops and weapons from Eastern Europe, NATO has not yet officially responded. However, a senior NATO general would have suggested internally to extend the military presence to Bulgaria and Romania.
Russia brought out the package of requirements yesterday. In addition to withdrawal from Eastern Europe, the Kremlin also demands a guarantee that Ukraine and other former Soviet states will never join NATO. Only then can the situation around Ukraine relax, states Russia.
In an initial response, a NATO diplomat said yesterday that Russia cannot veto the expansion of the alliance. An American official also reacted dismissively: “The Russians know that these documents contain things that are unacceptable to us.”
NATO leadership and the US political summit have not yet spoken out about the package of requirements.
Troops to Bulgaria and Romania
The German weekly Der Spiegel reports today that NATO General Tod Wolters wants to expand the military presence to two new countries: Bulgaria and Romania. The US top military would have said that during a video meeting with top military personnel from NATO countries.
According to Wolters, NATO presence in Eastern Europe should be expanded due to Russian troop building on the eastern border of Ukraine. NATO headquarters do not want to respond to Der Spiegels message.
In this video, you can see how tensions around Ukraine have risen considerably in recent times:
meantime, Russia is threatening additional measures if NATO allies ignore Russian demands. In an interview with the Russian news agency Interfax, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Rjabkov says that Western countries are constantly provoking Russia.
Rjabkov says that Russian proposals can actually improve the relationship with NATO. But if the alliance continues to act like this, then Moscow can come up with additional requirements, according to Rjabkov.