US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell welcomed the idea of a diplomatic settlement of disputes but raised concerns about Moscow’s draft security proposals, which include provisions on the refusal of Ukraine and Georgia to join NATO.
Secretary Blinken says Kremlin proposals include “non-starters”
Speaking to reporters on December 21, Secretary Blinken stressed that although he might be appropriate questions for discussion, that there are “very obvious non-starters” in the Kremlin’s proposals.
He argued that US President Joe Biden has been clear on “some basic principles that no one backs down”, including that a country does not have the right to change another’s borders by force, to dictate foreign policy of other countries or to exert a sphere of influence.
“This notion should be relegated to the dustbin of history,” said Secretary Blinken, adding that “these principles are inviolable”.
Recognizing that Russia has its “The grievances, the demands, the concerns,” said the secretary of state.
He noted that it would be better to progress diplomatically with Russia, stressing that Western allies would also put their concerns about Moscow’s actions on the table. “We are in total solidarity, coordination, consultation with allies and partners. We don’t do anything about them – without them, ”the Secretary of State said.
Borrell says Russia is responsible for deteriorating European security
High Representative Borrell, commenting on the Russian proposals, said “Europe’s security is threatened”.
He pointed to Russia’s actions as a reason for a “serious deterioration” of the security situation in Europe, in particular “the illegal annexation of Crimea, its role in fueling the conflict in eastern Europe. Ukraine as well as its actions in the Georgian rupture of the regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, in the region of Transnistria and in its support for the Lukashenko regime.
The High Representative also underlined that the EU “is fully committed to security in Europe on the basis of the key principles of non-aggression and respect for national sovereignty and territorial integrity”.
He added that “Any real discussion” on European security must be based on strengthening the commitments and obligations of the OSCE and the UN, and “not lead to their erosion”.
High Representative Borrell stressed that any possible dialogue must be inclusive and take into account the concerns and interests of all stakeholders, pledging that the EU will engage with the US and NATO “to ensure that its interests are represented in any possible discussion with Russia on European security. “
Senior diplomats from the EU and the US also discussed The Kremlin’s proposals in an appeal on December 22. They agreed that any discussion on European security will include the 27-member bloc and stressed the importance of using diplomatic channels to address security challenges, according to a press release issued by the European External Action Service. . .