- Sputnik International, 1920, 13.01.2022
Russia-NATO Row on European Security
Russia proposed draft agreements on security guarantees for NATO and the US in late 2021 requesting the alliance not to expand eastward as Moscow considers such a move a threat to its national security. NATO insists it will not allow its "Open Door" policy to be slammed shut.

US Says ‘In Lockstep’ With Germany Against Russia, ‘Door Open’ to Sending More Troops to Europe

© REUTERS / LEAH MILLISU.S. President Joe Biden holds a joint news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the White House in Washington, U.S. February 7, 2022.
U.S. President Joe Biden holds a joint news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the White House in Washington, U.S. February 7, 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.02.2022
Amid a visit to Washington by Germany’s new chancellor, Olaf Scholz, the White House said the two NATO allies were united against perceived Russian aggression toward Ukraine. The comment comes after Berlin refused to send weapons to Kiev amid the present crisis, as the US has rushed to do.
"Germany is one of America’s closest allies," US President Joe Biden said during a meeting with Scholz at the White House on Monday. "We’re working in lockstep to further deter Russian aggression in Europe and to address the challenges posed by China and to promote stability in the Western Balkans."
Scholz’s visit comes days after his government refused to send weapons to Ukraine or to allow Estonia, another NATO ally, to send old East German howitzer artillery pieces to Kiev. While the move drew widespread criticism, Scholz pledged NATO would “act jointly” in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine and that Moscow would “pay a high price” for the move.
Still, in an interview with the Washington Post on Sunday, the German chancellor refused to commit to cutting off the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which has not yet been turned on but would bring gas from Russia to Germany. The Biden administration has pressured Berlin to do so, and the project was strongly opposed by the previous Trump administration, which threatened Germany with sanctions over the project.
Biden said after meeting with Scholz that if Russian troops crossed the Ukrainian border, “there will no longer be Nord Stream 2.”
The US has claimed that Russian troops deployed to Belarus and in southern Russia are a sign Putin is planning an invasion of Ukraine. However, leaders in both Moscow and Kiev have dismissed the possibility. Several European NATO partners have also taken a more middling position, seeking a different tone in talks with Russia than the United States, which has remained intransigent and refused to acknowledge Russian security concerns, which Moscow has said would help to reduce tensions across the region.
Those concerns, articulated in a proposal submitted in December 2021, include halting NATO’s further eastward expansion, including precluding the possibility that Ukraine will join the alliance, as well as the potential stationing of offensive weapons in Ukraine by NATO. So far, NATO has flatly dismissed the idea of changing its so-called “open door” policy, although such a policy is not written into NATO’s constitution.
A day prior, Biden also spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron, who traveled to Moscow on Monday to meet with Putin before going to Kiev to see Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy the following day. Macron has portrayed himself as a mediator between Washington’s bellicose posturing and Moscow’s insistence that its security concerns be addressed.
"The geopolitical objective of Russia today is clearly not Ukraine, but to clarify the rules of cohabitation with NATO and the EU,” Macron told Journal du Dimanche on Saturday. In his meeting with Putin, the French president said he sought a response that “allows us to avoid war and to build bricks of trust, stability, and visibility."
"I see how much effort the current leadership of France and the president personally is applying in order to solve the crisis related to providing equal security in Europe [from] a serious historical perspective," Putin said.
When asked by a reporter about the administration’s position on the Macron-Putin meeting on Monday, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said, “we are in close contact with the French, of course the Germans, and all of our NATO partners and allies.”

"We are in constant contact, of course, with the Defense Department, but also with our NATO partners about what their needs are,” Psaki added when asked about potential US troop deployments to Europe. "So I don’t have anything to predict for you other than to reiterate what was said last week, which is that we leave the door open to that possibility.”

Late last month, the US placed 8,500 troops on “heightened alert” to be prepared to deploy to Europe in a few as five days, should the situation arise. The Pentagon also shifted 2,000 troops already in Europe further east into nations closer to Russia.
To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала