It feels like we are constantly on the brink of war. This time it’s Russia, but China has been making all sorts of comments about Taiwan and we have promised to defend them. Putin was trying to play the victim and has been telling Biden and NATO what they can or can’t do, or else. Putin sent an impossible demand out telling NATO they need to get out of Ukraine and Eastern Europe.
“Russian President Vladimir Putin urged the West on Thursday to “immediately” meet Russia’s demand for security guarantees precluding NATO’s expansion to Ukraine, saying the U.S. is “on the threshold of our home.”
Speaking during a marathon annual news conference, the Russian leader welcomed talks with the U.S., which he said are set to start in Geneva next month, as a “positive” move, but warned that Moscow expects the discussion to produce quick results.
“We have clearly and precisely let them know that any further NATO expansion eastward is unacceptable,” Putin said.
Last week, Moscow submitted draft security documents demanding that NATO deny membership to Ukraine and other former Soviet countries and roll back the alliance’s military deployments in Central and Eastern Europe. A key principle of the alliance is that membership is open to any qualifying country.
“Is it us who are putting missiles near the U.S. borders?” Putin said angrily. “No, it’s the U.S. who came to our home with its missiles, it’s already on the threshold of our home. Is it some excessive demand not to place any strike weapons systems near our home?”
Asked Thursday if he could provide a guarantee that Russia will not invade Ukraine, Putin snapped in response: “It’s you who must give us guarantees and give them immediately, now, and not have idle talk about it for decades.”
“How would the Americans respond if we put our missiles on the U.S. borders with Canada or Mexico?” he exclaimed.
The Russian leader charged during his news conference that the West had “swindled, blatantly cheated” Moscow by offering verbal pledges in the 1990s not to expand NATO’s presence east and then enlarging to incorporate former Soviet bloc countries in Central and Eastern Europe and the ex-Soviet republics in the Baltics.
“They said they wouldn’t expand, and then they did expand,” he said. “They said there would be equal guarantees for all, but there is no equal security. It seems to me sometimes that we live in different worlds.”
Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999, followed in 2004 by Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and the former Soviet republics of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. In subsequent years, Albania, Croatia, Montenegro, and North Macedonia also joined, bringing NATO’s membership to 30 nations.
But something seems to have happened behind closed doors this past Thursday and Russia has suddenly decided to withdraw 10k troops. They, of course, are claiming they were just training, not threatening Ukraine with invasion…
“Tensions reached a boiling point on Wednesday when President Vladimir Putin said Russia would take “appropriate retaliatory” military steps in response to what he called the West’s “aggressive stance”.
But he lowered the volume the next day, saying he had seen a “positive” reaction from the United States to Russia’s security proposals and said talks would take place next month.
A senior US official has said Washington was “ready to engage in diplomacy as soon as early January”, both bilaterally and through “multiple channels”.
On Saturday, a German government official said Moscow and Berlin had agreed to a meeting in “early January.””
Only 10k left the Ukrainian border there is still a massive force still “training” there. So now we have to wonder what kind of promises were made and what is meant by “positive reactions.” But at least we are not going to war with Russia, for now.