Moscow urges NATO to formally drop Ukraine & Georgia ascension plans

Russia has called upon NATO to denounce its intent to take Ukraine and Georgia into its ranks, arguing that doing so would benefit the “fundamental interests of European security.”

Russia’s Foreign Ministry expanded on the idea of a comprehensive security deal with the West on Thursday, releasing a lengthy statement on Friday.

The idea of this agreement was that it would provide concrete, legally-binding security guarantees for multiple parties in Europe. It was first floated by Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this month.

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For Russia, the eastward expansion of NATO remains among the top security concerns, with Moscow repeatedly calling the possibility of Ukraine joining the alliance completely unacceptable.

The ongoing course “to draw Ukraine into NATO” is likely to result in missile and other “destabilizing weaponry” to be deployed in the country, the foreign ministry warned.

“Such irresponsible behavior creates unacceptable threats to our security, provokes serious military risks for all parties involved, up to a large-scale conflict in Europe,” the ministry stated.

While the bloc has repeatedly claimed that the “question of Ukraine’s hypothetical NATO membership concerns exclusively Kiev and the alliance,” these plans actually violate the bloc’s own obligations, Russian diplomats pointed out.

The bloc is bound by other obligations alongside the Washington-founded treaty, including those under the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) framework.

These obligations – namely the fundamental principle of indivisible security in Europe – contradict the NATO expansion process, the ministry said. The principle has been upheld by multiple international treaties, including the 1999 Charter for European Security, which explicitly states that the signees “will not strengthen their security at the expense of the security of other States,” the ministry added.

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“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’ as it contradicts the commitment of the leaders of all OSCE participating states,” the statement reads.

Moscow’s call, however, has been swiftly rejected by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who reiterated the stance that the potential rise of Ukraine into the bloc concerns only the alliance and Kiev.

“NATO’s position when it comes to our relationship with Ukraine remains unchanged, 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,” Stoltenberg told reporters.

A similar remark was made by Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, who bemoaned certain “barriers” on the country’s rocky path to NATO.

“We continue on our way to NATO. We go, and there is a barrier. Do we see it or not? Or do we care? Let's get around the barrier? But we can't get around,” Zelensky told local media.

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