‘All allies are unanimous on the main principle of the alliance’

‘All allies are unanimous on the main principle of the alliance’

Peter Akopov

The first round of negotiations with the West on Rus-sian security guarantees has ended: a Russian-A-merican meeting in Gen-eva and negotiations with NATO in Brussels have taken place. Today there will also be a meeting in Vienna in the OSCE format, but it will be formal. What is the bottom line? Who will win?
No one expected that the Russian proposals, formalized in an unprecedentedly harsh form, would be ac-cepted by the United States, because the most important of them – the demand to abandon NATO expansion to the east (primarily, it was about Ukraine ) – meant, in fact, giving Moscow the right to veto the expansion alliance. Go for it Was-hingtonI could not, even if I wanted to, this would lead not only to a complete demoralization of the Kiev authorities, but also to a riot among the European members of the alliance. Not be-cause they dream of including Ukraine in the alliance or at least the beginning of its Atlanticization – the key continental powers absolutely do not need this, but because the US collusion with Moscow would be regarded as a complete disregard for the opinion of the allies. “They don’t reckon with us, and then Trump may return to the White House, and then America will abandon us altogether to the mercy of fate,” – such sentiments are already circulating in claiming independence, but not self-sufficient European capitals.
Therefore, the outcome of the negotiations on the main issue was predetermined: both Under Secretary of State Sherman and Secretary General Stoltenberg, after meetings with Russian representatives, confirmed that the Russians would not wait for any promise not to accept Ukraine into NATO.
“All allies are unanimous on the main principle of the alliance: each country is free to choose its own path. Only Ukraine and 30 NATO members can decide when Kiev is ready to become a member of the alliance… The whole idea that ‘you are by my side so you can’t do what you want “is an attempt to revive spheres of influence… This is a very dangerous path.”
Stoltenberg rejected acc-usations of NATO’s aggressiveness, saying that the expansion of the alliance is not dangerous, because in this way democracy is spr-eading. But there is a threat of a military conflict in Europe, and it comes from Russia, which has armed forces in Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova. But no one called them there – and the secretary general called on Russia to withdraw its troops from these countries.
That is, you accuse us of being aggressive, NATO tells us, but we actually carry democracy, but you Russians are preventing us from carrying it further and further east.
At the same time, the parties seem to have agreed to continue the negotiations: there are still all sorts of issues of the deployment of weapons and checks, which can be discussed endlessly. It is true that there is little sense in such discussions, especially against the background of the unresolved issue of the main, fundamental issue for us, about guarantees of non-expansion. A firm “no” was received for it, which will still be confirmed in the official response from Washington, expected the other day, to the draft treaty proposed by Moscow.
So what was it all about? And what was that anyw-ay? Why did Moscow start this whole story with “we need guarantees, and im-mediately?” People are racking their brains over the answer to this question, although it lies on the surface.
A month ago, Vladimir Putin put the question bluntly, not because he hoped to knock out some concessions from the United States, but because the time had come to open a new chapter of restructuring the global world order.
For several months, the West was whipping up hysteria around Russia’s imminent attack on Ukraine and by the end of the year practically convinced itself of this. At the same time, no one was going to admit Kiev to NATO (that is, to set specific deadlines): it is still very dangerous to provoke Moscow so clearly, the Atlantic strategists have an understanding of this. But there is also the realization that it will not be possible to maintain control over Ukraine indefinitely, which means that it will become more and more difficult to use it to put pressure on Russia, to contain our country.
Ukraine is too valuable an asset to come to terms with the idea of the inevitability of its loss, which means that it is necessary to try to postpone this time as much as possible, to convince the Kremlin that the West will not give it away for no reason. How to convince? Raising the stakes as much as possible, winding up the situation around the “threat of a Russian invasion” and “a terrible price for it.”
And it was at this point that Putin seized the initiative: he made a counter move, declaring that Russia no longer had time to endure the western onslaught to the east. This we do not want to wait, this does not suit us with the status quo – we consider the uncertainty with the Ukrainian membership in NATO unprofitable for us and will not put up with it. Putin’s proposal to the West to abandon Kiev was initially unacceptable, but it signified the emergence of a new reality, new rules of the game. Now it is no lo-nger the West that demands from Russia not to attack Ukraine, but Moscow announces to the West the end of the game by its rules.
Are you so disdainful of our interests that you tell us about the promotion of democracy with the help of NATO? Directly to the territory of historical Russia? That is, again a crusade of God-fearing Christians against terrible schismatics – nothing changes in a thousand years.
Well then, do not be surprised at our answer, we will really do everything to ensure our safety. No, we will not attack Kiev tomorrow (this is the dream of all Russophobes – to start a civil war between the Great Russians and the Little Russians), but the policy of containment will be oppo-sed by counter-containm-ent, symmetrical and asymmetrical, in the post-Soviet space and in the world as a whole. As a matter of fact, we are already responding with our entire policy of recent years, all our work on building a new world order (and dismantling the old, Atlantic), only now, after the West has officially rejected Putin’s proposals, we will be doing this in a different geopolitical reality, in the coordinate system of the new world order.
And not only us – and the West will be forced to build its relations with Russia according to new rules. And not only with Russia: in a week the new president of Iran will fly to Moscow, and in three weeks Vladimir Putin will go to Beijing. At the opening of the Olympics – and a new stage in the construction of security architecture. Not Russian, global.

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