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Some of America's NATO Allies Were 'Unsettled' by 'Certain US Ideas' at Security Guarantee Talks

© Sputnik / Алексей Витвицкий / Go to the mediabankNATO-Russia talks
NATO-Russia talks - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.01.2022
During the Russia-NATO negotiations on Moscow's security guarantee draft agreements earlier this week, the alliance reiterated its reluctance to stop its eastward expansion, something that runs counter to the bottom line of the proposals.
Some NATO countries were "unsettled" with "certain ideas" that US officials put forward in recent negotiations with Russia on security guarantees, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has quoted unnamed diplomats from the alliance as saying.

The sources said that during the talks, the US and its allies publicly presented "a united front" as they rejected Russia's "demands that they rule out NATO enlargement and pull military forces back from the alliance’s eastern flank".

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Behind the scenes, however, "some allies - particularly those close to Russia – were perturbed by several ideas floated by US officials at talks with Russian counterparts before they were aired with allies", the insiders claimed.

Some allies reportedly said that they had found out about "the idea of a reciprocal reduction in the size and scope of military exercises from the news media".

Other allies, the sources went on to argue, are concerned that with NATO rejecting Russia's key demands, the US may seek minor concessions, allegedly in a bid to pacify Moscow.
"NATO is offering scraps. The US could offer larger pieces of meat, mostly from the vulnerable part of the animal, which is the [alliance's] eastern flank", one of the sources said.

'Nothing Without NATO's European Allies', US Envoy Says

The claims come after US Ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith told reporters on Friday that she "would never use the word concessions" and that "there's nothing that worries" her about the matter. "We repeat the word reciprocal a lot", she added.

Smith stressed that "there was broad support for engaging in a dialogue", arguing that every NATO country "brings a different history to the table, everyone sits in a different corner of Europe". "NATO brings European allies to the table. Nothing about them without them — NATO assures that", the ambassador said.

Russia Wants 'Written Responses' From US to Moscow Security Guarantee Proposals

Russia's Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov, for his part, told Newsweek that "it must be admitted" that Moscow's discussion with the US and NATO "have not yet yielded any significant results".

"We expect written responses from Washington and Brussels to our draft agreements. Based on them, we will make a decision on the advisability of further joint work. We are also ready to discuss counter proposals", Antonov pointed out.

He said that the main topic of the talks "was to preserve peace and stability in Europe by working out security guarantees on the basis of draft agreements proposed by Moscow".
The draft accords were presented to the US and NATO in December 2021. The documents stipulate legal obligations that NATO will refrain from advancing eastwards and accepting new members from the former Soviet Union, especially Ukraine and Georgia.
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The agreements also oblige the alliance to refrain from creating NATO military bases on the territories of former Soviet republics, with a separate proposal pertaining to the non-deployment of short- and intermediate-range missiles in the region.
Tensions over Ukraine, meanwhile, show no signs of slowing as the US and its Western allies continue to accuse Russia of amassing troops near its border with Ukraine and preparing for an "invasion". Moscow rejects the accusations as unsubstantiated, also underscoring its sovereign right to deploy troops within Russia's borders at its own discretion.
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