Leaked US & NATO replies to Russia: Here’s what you need to know
It seems the West has rejected Moscow’s core demands, but proposed steps to ease tensions
Feb 2, 2022
In December, Russia requested that the US and NATO produce definitive written responses to its proposals on assurances addressing security concerns. The letters were sent to Moscow last week. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters at the time that the correspondence should stay confidential. However, the two letters were allegedly leaked in full to Spanish newspaper El Pais and published on Wednesday.
What did the US and NATO propose?
The West has apparently offered general transparency and confidence-building steps. These include utilizing existing military communication channels, setting up a civilian hotline for emergencies, and the reopening of the respective missions in Moscow and Brussels.
NATO specifically writes about exchanging information about military drills with Russia, and measures like earlier notices of snap exercises and sending more observers to monitor them. This could reduce some day-to-day tension and dangerous incidents along East European borders, as both sides have frequently accused each other of provocative maneuvers in the air and at sea. A particularly grim altercation occurred in the Black Sea last year, when Russia said it had to fire warning shots to ward off a British warship from its waters near Crimea.
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Pentagon confirms Europe troop shuffle amid Ukraine standoff
2,000 US troops are headed to Germany and Poland, while 1,000 will go to Romania
Feb 3, 2022
About 2,000 US soldiers will be sent to Poland and Germany this week, while another 1,000 from Germany will be deployed to Romania, the Pentagon said on Wednesday. They will not be under NATO command and are not expected to fight in Ukraine.
Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division will depart Fort Bragg, North Carolina sometime in the next several days, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters, confirming an earlier announcement of the deployment coming from the government in Warsaw. The 2,000 paratroopers are part of the 8,500 troops put on heightened alert last week by US President Joe Biden.
“These forces are not going to fight in Ukraine,” said Kirby. “They are going to ensure the robust defense of our NATO allies.”
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Leaked Documents Show US Is Serious About Arms Control With Russia
Washington’s written response to Moscow’s security proposals was leaked and published by the Spanish newspaper El Pais. While the US isn’t willing to give a written guarantee that Ukraine won’t ever join NATO, the document contained serious offers from the US on the issue of arms control.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has been concerned that US MK 41 missile launchers that are deployed in Romania can fit Tomahawk missiles that could potentially target Russia. In the written response, the US said that it was willing to discuss a “transparency mechanism to confirm the absence of Tomohawk cruise missiles” at US bases in Romania and Poland.
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As West refuses to back down, what is Russia’s next move?
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