Ap, Afp, Sputnik and Europa Press

Newspaper La Jornada
Thursday, January 20, 2022, p. 23

Kiev. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken yesterday rejected Russia’s demand for written guarantees that there will be no enlargement of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to the east, while French President Emmanuel Macron proposed a new security order in Europe with the transatlantic alliance against Russia.

The Russian Federation in turn reiterated that it does not plan to attack Ukraine, at a time when its armed forces and allies concluded their withdrawal from Kazakhstan, after their deployment in support of the government of the Central Asian country, threatened in early January by violence.

Blinken said that Washington will not submit a written response to Russian demands during the two countries’ discussions this week on Ukraine, as demanded by Moscow. I will not present a document at this time to the Russian Foreign Minister (Sergei Lavrov). We have to see where we stand and if there are still opportunities to continue the dialogue, which is by far the preferred path.

Lavrov will meet with Blinken tomorrow in Geneva, and he has submitted particularly detailed draft proposals to the United States.

The head of US diplomacy asserted that some Russian demands are doomed to failure, such as the commitment to never extend NATO eastward, including Ukraine.

Russia proposes that NATO and Moscow undertake not to station troops in regions where the other party could consider that its national security is threatened.

If they really do what they are capable of doing with the force they have concentrated on the border, it will be a disaster for Russia, Biden said.

He added that the Russian force could probably prevail over time against the weaker Ukrainian army, but assured that this would come at a very high cost in terms of loss of life for the Russians.

Blinken called on Western nations yesterday from Kiev to remain united in the face of Russia’s relentless aggression against Ukraine and assured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that Washington and its allies firmly support his country in the face of the Russian threat.

Moscow refuses to withdraw its troops and claims that it has the right to deploy them wherever it wants within its territory.

Russia hopes to continue discussing security guarantees with the United States, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Riabkov said yesterday, warning that Moscow is not willing to wait indefinitely for Washington’s response on security guarantees.

We need a direct, understandable and written response, in the form of an analysis, article by article, of the projects that we have put on the table, he stressed.

We have no intention of committing aggressive actions; we are not going to attack Ukraine, Ryabkov reiterated.

The European Union is in favor of dialogue with Russia, but will not support attempts to divide Europe into spheres of influence, said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Macron, meanwhile, yesterday called before the European Parliament to create a new shared security order with NATO and called for a frank dialogue with the Russian government, defining the priorities of his country, which began to exercise the rotating presidency of The EU.

German Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz, speaking at the Davos forum, warned that Europe will not allow changes to borders by force.

The Russian army and its allies yesterday concluded their withdrawal from Kazakhstan, after their deployment in support of the government of the Central Asian country, threatened in early January by unrest.

More than 2,000 soldiers were sent to the former Soviet republic at the request of President Kassym Jomart Tokayev, following violence not seen since the country gained independence in 1991.

At the beginning of January, demonstrations against an increase in energy prices turned violent and ended with a strong repression that left 225 dead, hundreds injured and at least 12,000 detained.