Russia’s policies question and threaten the European security system. This was shared by the Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist, according to the SwedishTV channel SVT With.
Hultqvist said Russia had violated international law by calling for Ukraine not to join NATO. In doing so, Moscow is questioning other countries’ right to self-determination. According to Hultqvist, Stockholm should work more actively with NATO, which, together with the European Union, constitutes an important security platform. He said:
“This is our own decision and is based on a decision by the Swedish Parliament. That is how it should be. There is no room for compromise on this matter.”
Earlier, the Estonian Defense Minister Kalle Laanet had stated that the EU and NATO were facing a clear threat from Russia that allegedly prevented other countries from living peacefully and democratically. In December 2021, Estonian President Alar Karis pointed out that the US and NATO countries should ignore Russia’s declaration on security guarantees that the bloc will not expand eastward.
Latvian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrzej Vilumsons also spoke about the inability to meet Russian demands for security guarantees, including Ukraine’s failure to join NATO and the EU. He said:
“This would go against all principles that we have agreed upon and that the international community has adopted in the twentieth century.”
For their part, the Russian authorities see NATO’s eastward expansion as a direct threat to the security of the country. In November last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that Moscow needed reliable, long-term security guarantees as NATO forces were close to Russia’s borders.
On December 17, the Russian State Department submitted a draft treaty on security guarantees to the US and NATO. Among other things, Moscow proposed to abandon the establishment of military bases in the former Soviet states and military activities in the territory of Ukraine.
The day before, two-hour talks between the Russian and US delegations about security guarantees took place. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov described it as difficult, but business-like. The main day of talks between Russia and the US in Geneva was scheduled for Monday. The Russia-NATO Council will meet in Brussels on Wednesday, the Russia-OSCE talks in Vienna on Thursday.
more on the subject – US Vice Secretary of State: Will not allow anyone to “slam NATO’s open doors”