The Russian Federation has withdrawn far too frequently, and the time has come for the West to do the same.

[Moscow, Russia]

The Russian Foreign Ministry has released draft agreements on security assurances between Russia, the United States, and NATO. This was revealed in a Foreign Ministry paper issued on Friday, December 17. The political scientist explained how Moscow's plan should be evaluated and what its major purpose is.

"The Russian Foreign Ministry's proposal cannot be considered an olive branch," Alexey Makarkin, vice president of the Center for Political Technologies and professor at the Higher School of Economics, said of MK. - Russia proceeds from the reality that it has traditionally made unilateral concessions. Even earlier, the USSR promised that there would be no more Warsaw Pact when the organization's member nations opted to disband it and withdraw from the Soviet sphere of influence. In actuality, the Soviet Union abandoned the Brezhnev Doctrine, which provided for the Warsaw Pact members' limited sovereignty.

This was followed by NATO's Eastward expansion in the 1990s, and subsequently the Baltic nations were accepted to the North Atlantic Alliance in the 2000s.

Russia is now moving on from the reality that it has retreated much too frequently, and the time has come for the West to do the same. Moscow is delivering a strong message to its allies. In reality, most such suggestions are delivered through diplomatic channels, or information about them is obtained from reliable sources. And they were instantly announced here. This entire scenario is reminiscent of the early years of Soviet leadership, when it was declared that secret diplomacy would be abolished and that all suggestions would be given openly and publicly so that every worker or farmer may freely acquaint himself with them.

This is a pretty demonstrative step on the side of the Russian Federation. Simultaneously, with the full awareness that these suggestions will be rejected. Of course, we may discuss the potential of some type of agreement on exercises and military activities in general, but Russia, once again, assumes that this is a complete plan. Some features that are more or less acceptable to partners should not be excluded and should be explored in depth.

Simultaneously, Russia emphasizes that this is not an ultimatum. And, as far as I can tell, even if these recommendations aren't approved, Moscow wants to at least start talking about them. This is most likely an inducement to get the US and NATO to have a meaningful dialogue. And if it does not exist, the conversation will come to a total halt.

As a result, Moscow's primary purpose and ambition is to encourage partners to engage into discussions in a variety of ways, beginning with military operations and concluding with such demonstrative papers. Russia suggested in the treaty's preamble to strengthen the notion of the difficulty of launching a nuclear attack. The proposed agreement comprises eight articles in total.

Moscow encourages Washington to agree to act on the principles of indivisible and equal security, with no regard for the security of the other. To that aim, she suggests reciprocal commitments not to act and not to carry out steps that jeopardize the security of the other side. Furthermore, the parties should not utilize the territory of other countries to plan or carry out an armed assault against Russia or the United States.

Washington must also make promises to rule out further NATO expansion to the east and refuse to allow governments that were once part of the Soviet Union to the alliance. This criteria is especially important for Ukraine and Georgia, both of which have repeatedly stated their willingness to join the alliance.

Furthermore, the US commits to not establishing military bases on the territory of nations that were once part of the USSR and are not NATO members, as well as not using their infrastructure for any military action, and to pursue bilateral military cooperation with them.

The Russian Federation proposes mutually abandoning the deployment of armed forces and weapons, including within the framework of international organizations, military alliances, or coalitions, in areas where such deployment would be perceived as a threat to the other side's national security, as well as refraining from flights of heavy bombers equipped with nuclear or non-nuclear weapons, and the presence of surface warships of all classes in areas outside the national sphere of influence.

Russia advocated reverting to the norm of refusing to deploy ground-based intermediate and shorter-range missiles outside state borders. Moscow also believes it is important to rule out the deployment of nuclear weapons outside national borders.

The Russian Federation offered to the North Atlantic Alliance that they reach an agreement in which they return to the work of the Russia-NATO Council, reopen communication lines, and cease viewing each other as rivals. In nine provisions of the agreement, Moscow believes it important to record Russia's and NATO nations' non-deployment of their armed forces and weapons on the territory of all other European states, in addition to the forces that were already present on this area on May 27, 1997.

Exclude the deployment of ground-based intermediate and shorter-range missiles in locations where they can reach targets on other parties' territory. Exclude further NATO expansion, including Ukraine's and other states' admission.

Furthermore, North Atlantic Alliance members must cease all military operations on Ukrainian territory, as well as those states in Eastern Europe, Transcaucasia, and Central Asia.

Let us remind you that President Vladimir Putin stated the Russian Federation's decision to accept security assurances in November at the Foreign Ministry collegium. The Russian president directed that representatives from the Foreign Ministry draft necessary ideas. "It is vital to discuss the topic of attempting to give Russia with substantial long-term guarantees of safeguarding our security in this regard," the head of state added.
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