Russia continues its diplomatic battles with the “civilized” world. The second round of multi-stage negotiations has recently taken place in Brussels. This time, representatives of the Russian Federation had talks with NATO officials.
These negotiations were held for the first time in two years as Russia and the North Atlantic alliance resumed contacts. The Russian delegation was headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko and Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin. The alliance was represented by permanent ambassadors of 30 NATO member states, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, who led the U.S. delegation at the Geneva meeting on January 10.
Security problems in Europe were the main subject of discussion in Brussels. Russia had made its position clear in advance. According to it, the North Atlantic Alliance should refuse to expand eastward and return to the 1997 borders, in addition, it must not grant membership to Georgia and Ukraine and or deploy its military facilities there.
Stoltenberg said that the bloc would like to restore NATO’s military liaison mission in Moscow and that Russia could resume its diplomatic presence in Brussels. However, after this “curtsy,” Stoltenberg added that Russia could not prohibit Ukraine from joining NATO. “Every state has the sovereign right to choose its path,” said “tough negotiator” Wendy Sherman, echoing his statement.
“In my view, everything that happened at the January 10 and 12 meetings between Russia and the West was quite predictable,” political analyst Sergei Mikheyev told wek.ru. “I wonder what will happen next. The U.S. will start, as they say, to “break the agenda to pieces” and focus all attention on Ukraine for the simple reason that it is advantageous to Washington. In other words, the U.S. will start “selling air” as usual, just look at their statement that they might be ready to discuss the issue of the non-deployment of their missiles in Ukraine. Do you see that it is an abstract proposal, to put it mildly, to which they demand real reciprocal steps from our side?”
If Russia has been discussing such issues with the United States in all seriousness for 30 years, we could have got to as far as negotiating the non-deployment of “Tomahawks,” for example, near Moscow, said Mikheyev. “But have we failed to “understand” for these 30 years who we are dealing with?” asks Mikheyev. In his opinion, the Americans are really “playing a shell game;” they view us as the aboriginals whom they are trying to “sell a pup.”
However, after the negotiations on January 12, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said at a press conference that the Americans believed that they still wanted to achieve supremacy in all spheres. As a result, Russia and the North Atlantic alliance suspended cooperation in the areas of common interest, and huge resources were allocated for the containment of our country, he said. Grushko assured the United States and NATO that building a security system without Russia is doomed to failure, and if NATO switches to a policy of containment, Moscow will switch to “counter containment.”
“Yes, they are saying now that it is very good that we have finally made our tough position loud and clear,” said Mikheyev, “and I completely agree with that. But couldn't they say that earlier? Was it necessary to wait for 30 years before coming up with a tough stance?”
According to Mikheyev, historically, our strongest suit is that we are capable of upholding our stance directly and firmly. If someone tries to “deceive the cheaters” and “slyly” claim that we are absolutely the same as you, then you are sadly mistaken.
The Russians are much more appreciative of directness, solidarity and tough stance,” said Mikheyev. “All this ambiguity, saying that we are the same as you, have made for misery, and inhibit consensus as they say now. We have always won when we stated our position frankly and directly, no matter what historical period was it, during the ruling of princes, tsars, or Soviet-era party officials.”
As Alexander Grushko concluded at yesterday's press conference, the Americans are underestimating what is going on while we will consider the totality of all factors. “If Washington does not provide security guarantees, a new confrontation is inevitable. Our response will be military and military-technical,” the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation promised to the “civilized” world.