Bloomberg learned about the differences between NATO countries on negotiations with Russia


According to the agency, the countries of the alliance have different views on the advisability of negotiations with Putin, the supply of weapons to Ukraine and anti-Russian sanctions

Emmanuel Macroni Olaf Scholz

NATO countries disagree on the advisability of negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin on conflict in Ukraine, writes Bloomberg.

France and Germany are in favor of maintaining a dialogue with Russia. According to sources of the agency, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the summit of the leaders of the North Atlantic Alliance last week said that one should not take rash actions, including abandoning the act of Russia— NATO about security. French President Emmanuel Macron, commenting on the insults of his American colleague Joe Biden against Putin, urged to refrain from “words and actions that could lead to escalation.”

Biden, who had previously made personal insults to Putin, nevertheless, he did not rule out a meeting with Putin. “That depends on what he wants to talk about,” — emphasized the President of the United States. The Kremlin said that Biden's insulting statements about Putin narrowed the window of opportunity for improving relations between the countries. Press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov called such rhetoric of the President of the United States unacceptable and recalled that the bombs of Biden himself “killed hundreds of thousands of people around the world.” US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan was handed a note of protest over Biden's remarks.

On March 14, Peskov announced that there were no plans for a meeting between Putin and Biden.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi plans to call Putin this week, according to Bloomberg.

The leadership of some other NATO members (Great Britain and almost all countries of Eastern Europe) considers dialogue with the Kremlin counterproductive, a document obtained by the agency testifies. They believe that Putin is not in the mood for a peace deal on acceptable terms. One of the sources said that at the NATO summit, Polish President Andrzej Duda asked the other participants whether they really considered the negotiations on the terms proposed by Moscow to be promising and acceptable. According to Duda, to agree to such conditions would mean support for Russia. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is also skeptical about Putin's intentions, another source told the agency.

Johnson has previously stated that normalizing relations with Putin would be a mistake.

Two diplomats expressed concern to Bloomberg that Macron could persuade Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to agree to neutrality on Russia's terms in exchange for a ceasefire. They, however, stressed that Macron is in support of the territorial integrity of Ukraine and its sovereignty. An official from the Elysée Palace said that Paris is not taking any steps without first consulting with Zelensky.

After the start of the military operation in Ukraine, Putin's contacts with Macron became more frequent, their next telephone conversation should take place on March 29, the Elysee Palace reported.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia would not initiate the establishment of relations with Western countries, but would see how they would get out of the “dead end” into which they had driven themselves. He said that since Putin came to power, Moscow has expressed a willingness to cooperate with the West, but “unfortunately” it did not work out. The minister called the current situation “the culmination of the course that the West has been pursuing since the early 1990s,” when it became clear that “Russia will not be obedient.”

The head of the department for pan-European cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign the impossibility of a dialogue between Russia and NATO in conditions when the countries of the bloc supply Ukraine with lethal weapons, “not giving a damn about international rules and their own codes of conduct.”

Deliveries of weapons to Ukraine— another point of contention among NATO countries. Representatives from the UK, the Baltic states and most Eastern European countries have called for additional weapons, including air defense systems, to be sent to Kiev, sources familiar with the discussion said. The governments of some Western European countries believe that there should be restrictions on the types of weapons so that the situation does not get out of control. Macron opposed the supply of tanks and aircraft to Ukraine.

Vladimir Zelensky, in an interview with The Economist, said that Paris is afraid of Russia, and called Boris Johnson “a leader who helps more.”

Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov called the supply of weapons and mercenaries” irresponsible. Lavrov said that any shipments in Ukraine that Russia considers to be foreign arms shipments would become targets for Russian troops. “We are conducting an operation, the purpose of which — eliminate any threat against Russia that comes from the Ukrainian territory, — he emphasized.

According to Bloomberg, the alliance also cannot decide whether to expand restrictions against the Russian energy sector. The US has already banned the export of Russian oil and gas. The EU, according to Reuters, is discussing such a step: the Baltic countries insist on an embargo on Russian oil.

Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak warned of a collapse in the gas and oil markets in the event of refusal of hydrocarbons from Russia. Kobrinets stated that the European Union would not benefit from an energy confrontation with Russia: Moscow, according to the diplomat, “has a greater margin of safety and stronger nerves.”

February 24, Russia has been conducting a special military operation in Ukraine to” demilitarization and denazification. Kyiv severed diplomatic relations with Moscow, Zelensky introduced martial law in the country. The Russian and Ukrainian delegations held several rounds of negotiations on the settlement, the last of which ended on March 29 in Istanbul.

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