The call to the Joe Biden administration to hand over to the Russian side a list of possible sanctions tied to the situation in Ukraine is aimed at disrupting the dialogue between Moscow and Washington. This opinion was expressed by a member of the Federation Council Alexei Pushkov, commenting on the initiative, which was made by a group of former American diplomats and ex-employees associated with national security. According to the senator, the main task of the proposed step is to undermine the upcoming negotiations on security guarantees.
Certain circles in the American establishment are trying to disrupt the negotiation process between Moscow and Washington on security guarantees, says Federation Council member Alexei Pushkov. So he commented on the call for the Joe Biden administration to present to Moscow a list of possible sanctions related to the situation in Ukraine. The proposal was made by a group of 24 former US ambassadors, ex-national security officials and experts on Russia.
“The publication of the list of anti-Russian sanctions … is intended to play a subversive role in the negotiations on security guarantees. This is their main purpose. This is a means of not only putting pressure on Moscow, but also disrupting the dialogue, “Pushkov wrote on his Twitter.
The material on the situation around Ukraine and accusations of Russia of building up an armed group in the region was published the other day on the website of the “Atlantic Council” *. It sets out considerations on “how to keep Moscow from escalating” and “dissuading from future provocations.” Among other things, the signatories propose already now to convey to the Russian side the essence of future “painful” economic restrictions, which will come into force “if Russia attacks Ukraine.” In particular, it is proposed to reach an agreement with Berlin that Germany will prevent the launch of Nord Stream 2 in the event of an “attack” by the Russian Federation.
The list of signatories included former US ambassadors in Moscow Alexander Vershbow and Michael McFaul, former heads of the US diplomatic mission in Kiev John Herbst, Stephen Pifer and William Taylor, ex-State Department special envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker, former commanders of the NATO Joint Armed Forces in Europe Wesley Clarke and Philip Breedlove.
Some of them systematically call for various measures to influence Russia. For example, at the end of December McFaul accused Moscow of “undermining European security” and demanded that it withdraw its contingent from Transnistria, withdraw diplomatic recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, transfer Crimea to Ukraine, and withdraw Iskander complexes and tactical nuclear weapons from the Kaliningrad region. He also called for the inclusion of these issues in the agenda of negotiations on security guarantees.
Also in December, McFaul called for a new, “cascading” model of anti-Russian sanctions, since the current format, he said, “will not change the Kremlin’s behavior.” The ex-diplomat proposed to gradually tighten restrictions until the end of the conflict in southeastern Ukraine.
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In turn, John Herbst, back in September, threatened Russia with “serious sanctions” in the event of “aggression” against the Ukrainian side. Speaking in Kiev, he said such restrictions could destroy the Russian economy.
Security Guarantee Negotiations
The appeal to the Biden administration was made public after the second conversation in a month between the leaders of Russia and the United States took place on the night of December 31. The presidents held a 50-minute telephone conversation, the key topic of which was the implementation of the previously reached agreement on the launch of negotiations on the provision of legal guarantees for ensuring the security of the Russian Federation.
“It was emphasized that the security of each country can be ensured only on the basis of strict adherence to the principle of the indivisibility of security,” the Kremlin said.
During the conversation it was also confirmed that the talks in Geneva will take place on January 9-10, then another discussion will take place in the framework of the Russia-NATO Council in Brussels on January 12. Discussions in the OSCE will begin on 13 January.
“The Russian side gave an exhaustive answer to the option, again mentioned by Joseph Biden, of adopting“ large-scale ”sanctions against Russia in the event of an escalation of the situation around Ukraine. In particular, it was said that this would be a grave mistake, in fact, threatening a complete rupture of Russian-American relations, ”the Kremlin stressed.
The previous conversation between the presidents took place via video link on December 7. Then, following the results of the negotiations, it was reported that Putin drew Biden’s attention to Moscow’s interest in obtaining reliable, legally fixed guarantees, excluding NATO’s eastward expansion.Also at russian.rt.com Ambassador Antonov announced the threat to Russia due to NATO’s “crawling” into the territory of Ukraine
Shortly thereafter, the Russian Foreign Ministry published drafts of a treaty with the United States and an agreement with NATO on security guarantees, which were transferred to Washington and the leadership of the North Atlantic Alliance. Among other things, the documents included provisions on the non-deployment of intermediate and shorter-range missiles in each other’s reach, on mutual guarantees of security in Europe and on the refusal of further NATO expansion, including at the expense of the former Soviet republics.
As Russian Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov stated in an article for Foreign Policy, Russian draft agreements on security guarantees create “conditions for defusing tensions in Europe, restoring trust and enhancing interaction in order to address global challenges.”
In turn, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia will take action if the US and NATO do not respond to Moscow’s offer of security guarantees. According to him, the Foreign Ministry will not allow “to roll up initiatives in endless discussions.”
“If a constructive response does not follow within a reasonable time and the West continues its aggressive line, then Russia will be forced to take all necessary measures to ensure a strategic balance and eliminate unacceptable threats to our security,” Lavrov concluded.
* “Atlantic Council” (Atlantic Council of the United States) – an organization whose activities are recognized as undesirable on the territory of the Russian Federation by the decision of the General Prosecutor’s Office of 25.07.2019.
Source: RT на русском by russian.rt.com.
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