Russia laid out its new security proposal to NATO over Ukraine conflict before deescalation

The Ukraine conflict continued to linger on as Russia demanded NATO to meet several conditions under its newly crafted security proposal, or it will refuse to withdraw troops along the border lines. 

This comes just two weeks earlier, US President Biden held a jointed video session with Russia President Vladimir Putin over Ukraine conflict. During the meeting call, Biden stressed that US would impose stronger economic sanction than previously did in 2014, if Russia choose to invade Ukraine.

According to CNN news, US officials are preparing for wider levels of economic sanction including disconnecting Russia from the SWIFT international banking system, and stronger sanctions towards its energy industries to isolate Russia’s economy. In the meantime, the US will strengthen its European allies including providing additional weaponry to Ukraine’s military forces. 

So far, these warnings seemed to go unaffected as Russia deployed fresh new troops towards the Ukraine border. Just last Friday, Russia issued new demands under a security proposal to NATO. In the proposal, Russia is clear that NATO’s military forces in Central and Eastern Europe posed serious threats towards Russia’s national security, these forces would have to withdraw before Russia can de-escalate its own activity. Other demands include denying Ukraine’s entry into NATO, and certain weapon usage agreements between the West and Russia. 

Some of the conditions under the new proposal are obviously not applicable for the United States and NATO.  NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said any negotiation would have to address NATO’s concerns about Russia’s actions particularly the security of Europe.

Russia’s hard stance on Ukraine can partially be attributed to two factors, one is Europe and the US ’s unwillingness to send direct military forces to aid Ukraine. Biden has campaigned on not to bring new wars for Americans to join in, his pledge to withdraw from the Afghanistan War sends a direct message to his promise. Therefore, a direct interference in Ukraine would be inapplicable since it goes against the very principles of his administration.

Additionally, Europe still remained heavily relied upon Russia’s energy exports. Russia alone accounted for 47% of the EU’s natural gas imports, according to latest Eurostat. Since the 2014 Ukraine invasion, Russia’s natural exports to Europe have increased to the levels, surpassing early 2000, which indicated how dependent Europe is on Russia over energy security.

In the current world market, where inflation has surged to historical highs across the world, and energy crunches continued to exacerbate as harsh winters sends inventories plummeting in Euro zones; it is very difficult to anticipate how big of an impact would geopolitics play out. But Russia certainly holds an overwhelming amount of leverage in Europe’s energy security. 

 

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