Talks on Ukraine: “Russia has no right of veto”

Status: 12.01.2022 3:45 p.m.

After the talks with Russia, NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg continues to see “considerable differences of opinion” – and not only with regard to Ukraine. Nevertheless, he rated the conversations as a positive sign.

At the first meeting of the NATO-Russia Council in more than two years, there was no breakthrough: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said after almost five hours of deliberations in Brussels that there were still “significant differences of opinion” with Moscow over the Ukraine conflict. The alliance is open to further negotiations.

According to Stoltenberg, the 30 NATO countries rejected Moscow’s demands for extensive security guarantees. “We will not compromise on our basic principles,” said Stoltenberg. Russia has “no right of veto on the question of whether Ukraine can become a NATO member”.

Michael Grytz, ARD Brussels, with information on today’s round of talks of the NATO-Russia Council in Brussels

day sho 2 p.m., January 12, 2022

US Vice Secretary of State Wendy Sherman also stressed on Twitter after the negotiations: “Every country has the sovereign right to choose its own path.” She made this basic principle of international order and European security clear again in talks with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Gruschko.

Basic willingness to enter into dialogue

Nevertheless, according to Stoltenberg, there is also a fundamental willingness on the Russian side to continue the dialogue and sound out a schedule for further meetings. “It is a positive sign that all NATO allies and Russia sat at the same table and dedicated themselves to substantial issues,” said Stoltenberg. The discussion was not easy, but that is precisely why the meeting was so important.

Russia is demanding comprehensive security guarantees from the US and NATO in the conflict. The Kremlin wants to prevent the establishment of US army bases in states of the former Soviet sphere of influence and an eastward expansion of the military alliance to include Ukraine or Georgia.

Scholz wants to use “all dialogue formats”

Chancellor Olaf Scholz praised the talks with Russia, but emphasized that the basic constant in Europe had always been “that the territorial integrity of the states remains safe”. This was lost with the annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea by Russia in 2014. “We have to return to this situation. We will do that,” assured Scholz. Embedded in the European Union and NATO and together with our American allies, “we will clearly ensure that these dialogue formats are all used again to ensure that we achieve the necessary progress for security in Europe”.

The NATO-Russia Council was established in 2002. It met for the last time in 2019. On Thursday there are to be further talks with Russia within the framework of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

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