Russia urges Nato to rescind promise to Ukraine and Georgia
Russia urges Nato to rescind promise to Ukraine and Georgia
Russian service members line up during tactical combat exercises held by a motorised rifle division at the Kadamovsky range in the Rostov region, Russia on Friday. — Reuters

MOSCOW: Russia called upon Nato on Friday rescind a 2008 commitment to Ukraine and Georgia that they would one day become members and said the alliance should promise not to deploy weapons in countries bordering Russia that could threaten its security.

The demands were spelt out by the Russian foreign ministry in its fullest statement yet on the security guarantees that President Vladimir Putin says he wants to obtain from the United States and its allies.

“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’,” the ministry said in a statement.

Ukraine is at the centre of a crisis in East-West relations as it accuses Russia of massing tens of thousands of troops in preparation for a possible large-scale military offensive.

Russia denies planning any attack, but accuses Ukraine and the United States of destabilising behaviour, and has said it needs security guarantees for its own protection.

The ministry statement followed a video call between Putin and US President Joe Biden this week that was dominated by discussion of Ukraine.

The foreign ministry said Moscow was proposing a series of steps to reduce tensions, including safe distances between Russian and Nato warships and planes, especially in the Baltic and Black Seas.

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