Afp, Ap and Sputnik
La Jornada newspaper of Saturday January 8, 2022, p. 18
Washington. The head of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Jens Stoltenberg, said that Russia’s military deployment on the border with Ukraine presents a real risk of conflict and that the Atlantic Alliance must be prepare for a failure of diplomatic efforts.
Moscow’s military reinforcement continues on Ukraine and is accompanied by a threatening speech from Vladimir Putin if his demands are not accepted. But these are inadmissible and the risk of a new conflict is real, warned Stoltenberg, after a video conference with the foreign ministers of the alliance countries. , he estimated.
The West and Ukraine have accused Russia for several weeks of concentrating 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border for a possible invasion and have threatened massive and unprecedented sanctions if Russia attacks.
For its part, Moscow demands treaties which exclude any future participation of Ukraine in NATO and a commitment by the Atlantic allies to reduce their forces at the gates of Russia.
American and Russian diplomats will meet next Monday in Geneva, before a meeting between NATO and Russia scheduled for Wednesday in Brussels and a meeting on Thursday in Vienna with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), including Kiev is a member. of.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken promised in Kiev that there would be no Ukraine negotiations without Ukraine, but President Joe Biden is considering the possibility of offering Russia a simultaneous troop reduction in Eastern Europe as a first step towards ending the Ukrainian crisis, NBC reported.
We are ready to respond forcefully to further Russian aggression. But a diplomatic solution is always possible, and preferable, if Russia chooses it, Blinken said.
Stoltenberg also considered that the meeting between NATO and Russia, the first since the summer of 2019, is a positive sign, as the tensions are very high.
But Western ministers also called for Russian de-escalation to promote diplomacy, reiterating their red lines.
Russia wants to bring us to a NATO debate, rather than focusing on the real issue, which is its aggression against Ukraine, we will be distracted by that, Blinken said in a speech that was very offensive to Russia. Moscow.
Blinken also cautioned against the possibility that Moscow concocts a provocation or incident to be used for its purpose to justify military intervention.