Putin has imposed a discussion on the division of Europe into spheres of influence on the Alliance and its leadership, which the West has so far constantly rejected. In fact, Putin wants a new version of Yalta, but more to the East. It also wants to disconnect the United States from Europe in terms of nuclear power.
Most of Putin’s demands were rejected by NATO. They were so exaggerated that it begs the question of whether he had brought them up just to be rejected. However, the fact that, by bidding the minimum wage, he managed to get talks at such a level, proves that the West’s fear of Russia is no less than Putin’s fear of NATO.
Russia has weaker cards
Russia has, however, according to “FAZ” weaker cards than NATO. Putin is threatening to invade Ukraine, which could cost him dearly, and the West will probably do little to harm. Therefore, the West does not have to make unilateral concessions to Russia, above all on fundamental issues such as the freedom to choose alliances. It would make sense to negotiate arms control, especially after the end of the INF. Russia’s new medium-range missile system threatens Europe.
Macron wants to talk to Moscow
In a separate information material, “FAZ” informs about the position of French President Emmanuel Macron on talks with Russia. According to the editors, they are demanding to start talks with Russia about medium-range missiles. Macron has “distanced himself” from NATO’s common position.
Macron accused the US that as a result of an “unilaterally” American decision, Europe was no longer protected by the INF treaty, which prohibited medium-range missile systems.
“We cannot keep this situation any longer, we are responsible for it,” said the French president, quoted by “FAZ”. Macron said he was ready to discuss all military and arms control matters with Moscow, be it medium-range missiles or nuclear capabilities.
Trump terminated the INF treaty
The “FAZ” reminds that in 2019 the then US president, Donald Trump, terminated the INF treaty, justifying it with Russia’s work on the SSC-8 missiles. Moscow then proposed a moratorium on the stationing of new missiles. Macron wanted to start talks on this subject, but no negotiations took place. Russia renewed its proposal in December, presenting a broad offer of security guarantees from the US and NATO. According to this proposal, short- and medium-range missiles should not be deployed in places from which they could reach the territory of the opposing party. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg dismissed the proposal as implausible.
The Treaty on the Complete Elimination of Medium and Short-Range Missiles (INF), signed by the US and the USSR in 1987, is considered a landmark document in the process of overcoming the Cold War and creating European security.