The diplomatic spat over Ukraine flared up again this week with the US, UK and France accusing Russia of responding to Western sanctions by threatening more economic pressure. It is clear that while there has been progress in trade relations between the two countries, they have a long way to go before trust can be restored.,

The “why is russia so big” is a response to Moscow’s Ukraine Demands Shows Gulf Between Russia and West. The article talks about the differences in opinion between Russia and the west.

Response to Moscow’s Ukraine Demands Shows Gulf Between Russia and West

MOSCOW— Details of two harshly written letters provided to Moscow last week, revealing the US and NATO rejected the Kremlin’s requests and instead placed the tension on Russian President Vladimir Putin, revealed the difference between Russia and the West on the future of Ukraine and security in Europe.

With tens of thousands of Russian soldiers stationed on Ukraine’s borders, Mr. Putin wanted formal assurances that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization would not extend east to reach the nation and would stop sending more troops to former Soviet republics. As the months-long impasse continues, Putin has framed his demands as “fundamental security problems for Russia.”

In a pair of hand-delivered letters to the Kremlin on Jan. 26 and published by a Spanish newspaper, the US and NATO emphatically rejected the Russian leader’s stance, aggravating Mr. Putin.

According to copies of answers and associated attachments provided in El Pais and verified as legitimate by a European Union official, “we strongly believe that tensions and differences be handled by conversation and diplomacy, not the threat of the use of force.” “In light of Russia’s significant, unprovoked, and unjustifiable military buildup in and around Ukraine and Belarus, we urge Russia to de-escalate the situation in a verifiable, timely, and long-term way.”

The US also said that it “remains committed to NATO’s Open Door Policy,” but that it is open to continue talks with Russia “in good faith and with the objective of enhancing Euro-Atlantic security.”

In its official answer to Moscow provided last week, NATO and the US failed to satisfy Russia’s requests for legally enforceable security assurances, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Yuri Kochetkov/AFP/Getty Images/Yuri Kochetkov/AFP/Getty Images/Yuri Kochetkov/AFP/G

For weeks, Washington has been warning that Russia’s mobilization of troops near the Ukrainian border is likely the start of an invasion, eight years after Moscow’s previous incursion in 2014, when it invaded Crimea and sparked a separatist rebellion in eastern Ukraine. Russia has denied that it aims to take over Ukraine, instead claiming that the military buildup is in reaction to a danger presented by NATO soldiers deployed along Russia’s western borders.

Between the two sides, there is still little common ground.

The US stated in its letter to Russia that NATO posed no danger to Russia and accused Moscow of betraying “the trust at the heart of our collaboration” and violating “basic principles of the global and Euro-Atlantic security architecture.” In the event of a confrontation, Washington has planned a series of punishing penalties it would implement if Russia encroaches on Ukraine, increased military aid supplies to Kyiv, and deployed hundreds of troops to protect NATO’s eastern flank.

On Tuesday, Mr. Putin said that the United States and its European allies had “essentially disregarded” Moscow’s requests. Following a meeting with Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Mr. Putin told reporters at a Kremlin news conference on Tuesday, “We didn’t see an appropriate answer to our fundamental concerns.”

Despite this, both Moscow and Washington have said that they are eager to resume talks. The US and NATO said in their letters that they would be willing to discuss measures to increase mutual trust regarding significant ground exercises in Europe in consultation with their allies and partners, and that they remained open to negotiations over meaningful arms control, raising the prospect of new missile limits.

“Our goal is to achieve tangible and mutually beneficial results,” the letter said, but added that “reversing Russia’s military buildup in and surrounding Ukraine would be necessary for real progress.”

The document’s validity was not confirmed by the Kremlin or Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Moscow has yet to respond in writing to the United States’ requests. Dmitry Peskov, the presidential spokesman, told reporters Wednesday that Putin spoke the day before “with extremely controlled confidence and hope about the potential of addressing the subject of Russian security assurances via diplomatic engagement.”


The comments from the US and NATO, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, “testify to substantial gaps in the concept of the principle of equal and indivisible security.”

Associated Press photo

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in a letter to his counterparts in the United States, Canada, and a number of European countries that the responses from the United States and NATO to Russia “testify to significant differences in the understanding of the principle of equal and indivisible security fundamental to the entire European security architecture.” His letter was made public on the foreign ministry’s website.

Mr. Lavrov said that in order to maintain the possibility of continuing conversation, Russia believes it is vital to define the Charter for European Security, which was agreed in Istanbul in November 1999 at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe summit.

The accord, he added, emphasized “each member state’s freedom to freely select or alter the manner it ensures its security, including union treaties, as they develop.”

Mr. Lavrov said, “It also specifies that no state, group of states, or organization may be saddled with primary responsibility for preserving peace and stability in the OSCE area or consider any portion of it to be its sphere of influence.”

Western nations, according to Russia’s foreign ministry, continue to extract just the positions they need, “namely, the ability of states to freely pick alliances to protect entirely their own security.”

The Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom said Wednesday that fighter planes were sent to escort four Russian military aircraft across international airspace. According to the air force, the Typhoon fighters were escorted by two long-range Russian bombers and two maritime surveillance planes.

According to the Royal Air Force, Russian bombers did not enter British sovereign airspace. Russian aircraft that enter the United Kingdom’s regulated zone in international airspace are often intercepted by the Royal Air Force. The RAF has previously said that these Russian aircraft do not contact with UK air traffic control, posing a threat to other aircraft.

—This piece was co-written by Laurence Norman in Brussels and Max Colchester in London.

Ann M. Simmons can be reached at [email protected]

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