Decisions on security in Europe cannot be made by the two sides without taking into account the EU, said the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell, calling some of Moscow’s conditions unacceptable.
The European Union wants to take part in negotiations between the United States and Russia on de-escalation of tensions on the Russian-Ukrainian border and security issues. “We do not want and cannot afford to be outside spectators, unbeknownst to whom decisions are made,” EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell told the German edition of Die Welt, which will be published on Wednesday, December 29.
According to Borrell, “if Moscow, as announced, wants to talk about the security architecture in Europe and security guarantees from January, then this is not just a matter that concerns America and Russia.” “The EU must be involved in these negotiations, such negotiations will only make sense if they are held in close coordination and with the participation of the EU,” the head of European diplomacy stressed.
Moscow’s conditions are “unacceptable”
Moscow would like to have a situation where the two sides “share spheres of influence” without taking the EU into account. “We will never agree with this,” Borrell assured. He also criticized “completely unacceptable conditions, first of all, if we consider account Ukraine,” put forward by Moscow along with its calls for security guarantees and non-expansion of NATO to the east. The right of any state to decide for itself whether or not to join any alliances cannot become a subject of discussion, the EU representative noted.
Due to the build-up of Russian troops (near the Ukrainian border - ed.) the EU confirms “support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” Josep Borrell wrote on his Twitter microblog on the same day. The EU’s direct priority is “to avoid further escalation. Any discussions on European security should take place in coordination with the EU and with its participation.”
The US did not invite the EU to negotiate with Russia
On the eve of the press secretary of the US State Department, Ned Price, guaranteed the Europeans "transparency and solidarity" during the US-Russia talks scheduled for January 10 in Geneva, but did not promise to involve the EU in them. The meeting will be held in the bilateral format of a strategic dialogue on security, Price said.
Earlier, on December 17, the Russian Foreign Ministry published draft agreements with NATO and the United States on security guarantees. The Russian Federation demands that the North Atlantic Alliance abandon expansion to the east and any military activity in Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Transcaucasia and Central Asia. On December 26, Vladimir Putin said that if the United States and NATO refuse Russia's proposals, Moscow’s response “cannot be predicted” and will depend “on the proposals of our military experts”.