Russia Makes Demands On Nato As Threat Of Invading Ukraine Looms
Tensions continue to grow as the Russian foreign ministry submitted a list of actions on Friday that it insists NATO take as the ongoing threat of an invasion of Ukraine continues.
The requirement would give Russia effectual veto power over NATO membership, which both the U.S. and Ukraine have said is a hard no.
“It is a fundamental principle that every nation has the right to choose its own path … including what kind of security arrangements it wants to be part of,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Friday.
“NATO’s relationship with Ukraine is going to be decided by the 30 NATO allies and Ukraine, no one else,” he added. “We cannot accept that Russia is trying to re-establish a system where big powers … have spheres of influence, where they can control and decide what other members do.”
The foreign ministry claimed that Ukraine joining NATO would lead to defense weapons being in the country that would create security risks for Russia.
“Such irresponsible behavior creates unacceptable threats to our security and provokes serious military risks for all parties involved, right up to the point of a large-scale conflict in Europe,” the ministry’s statement read.
“In the fundamental interests of European security, it is necessary to formally disavow the decision of the 2008 NATO Bucharest summit that ‘Ukraine and Georgia will become NATO members,’” it continued.
U.S. intelligence estimates Russia has accumulated approximately 100,000 troops at its border with Ukraine and has plans to invade. Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said a Russian invasion would be a “bloody massacre.