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Russia: If NATO Refuses to Publicly Reject Ukraine as Member, Kiev Should Declare Itself Non-Aligned

© Sputnik / Mikhail Markiv / Go to the mediabankNational flag of Ukraine and the NATO flag
National flag of Ukraine and the NATO flag - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.02.2022
Ukraine earlier cemented its plan to join NATO in its Constitution. The alliance itself refused to honour Moscow's demands on security to deny Kiev membership. The Kremlin has repeatedly warned that deploying NATO forces in Ukraine will be viewed as a security threat by Russia.
Moscow will be insisting on NATO publicly announcing its refusal to accept Ukraine into the bloc, the head of the Russian delegation to the Vienna talks on military security and arms control, Konstantin Gavrilov, has stated. Kiev will also have to return to respecting the pledge it made in 1990, the diplomat said.
"Kiev, in turn, must proclaim its neutral, non-bloc status, which was included in the provisions of the Declaration on State Sovereignty of Ukraine of 16 July 1990", Gavrilov said during an OSCE forum on security.
Kiev embedded the policy of joining the EU and NATO in the Ukrainian Constitution in a majority decision by the federal parliament in February 2019, thus violating its long-time pledge to remain neutral and refuse to join any military alliances. The move was made under the governance of a new wave of Ukrainian politicians that came to power following a Western-backed coup in 2014.
Russia has been systematically demanding that NATO stop its "mindless" eastward expansion, urging it to honour the promises given in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In the wake of escalating tensions around Ukraine, which started last November, Moscow forwarded its proposals on restoring stability and ensuring security in the region to NATO and the US.
Both rejected the key provisions in these proposals, specifically the demand to deny Ukraine membership in the alliance. The US and NATO both insisted on maintaining their "open-door" policy despite Moscow's warnings that it will see the deployment of NATO troops in neighbouring Ukraine as a direct security threat and will act accordingly.
Despite refusing to honour the key proposals, the West agreed to start a dialogue on the secondary provisions – such as new arms control regimes in Europe and mutual reduction of the scale of military drills on each others' borders.
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