Putin's Demands for NATO and America Explained
























this blog we're going to be looking at what's in Putin's most recent set of demands why they're well pretty demeaning and whether they're best understood as a maximalist negotiating position or a pretext for invasion on December the 17th Russia published two separate draft texts one for the united states and one for NATO respectively named a treaty between the united states and Russian federation on security guarantees and an agreement on measures to ensure the security of the Russian Federation and the member states of the North Atlantic treatyorganizationlet's start with the u's one the first few hundred words are pretty uncontroversial stuff about respecting international law and maintaining peace and security but articles three through seven consecutively make some pretty big-endian order article 3 says that neither party can take actions affecting the quote core security interests of the other article 4 says the us should quote take steps to prevent eastward expansion of Nato and not have any military relations with former soviet states articles 5 and 6 say that neither party can deploy heavy bombers surface warships or missiles outside their national territories from where they can attack the other party and article 7says that neither party can deploy nuclear weapons outside of their national territories all of these demands would require a complete restructuring of the American military order given how widely Putin considers Russia's core security interests 
the include for example the arctic article 3precludes basically any militarydeploymentarticle 4 would require the us to essentially U-turn on all its NATO allies and violate NATO's open door policy which we'll get onto in a second article 5 is just unrealistic both Russia and the u's love flaunting their military might outside their own territorial waters while article 6 would in practice ban the us from deploying missiles in Europe while leaving Russia free to deploy similar missiles against NATO countries to be fair to Putin article 7 isn't a terrible idea and Biden has expressed an interest in restarting a dialogue with Russia about nuclear disarmament but it should realistically be included in a separate negotiation specifically about nuclearweaponsit's also a pretty tall order given that the us currently has five nukes in five countries around the world and an agreement with Japan allowing transit of nuclear-armed vessels while Russia doesn't have any foreign nuclear weapons so, you get the point a pretty tall order onto the Nato one again there are some niceties at the start and then it all kicks off with articles four throughsevenagain, in order article four says that NATO cannot deploy any forces or weapons in countries that joined Nato after the27th of May 1997.article 5 says that neither party can deploy missiles in range of each other article 6 says that Nato cannot enlarge any further and article 7 says that NATO forces cannot conduct any military activity in Ukraine or within a yet tobe agreed buffer zone between Russia andNatoagain, these are some seriously tall orders let's start with article 4.27th of May 1997 was when the founding act on mutual relations cooperation and security between Nato and the Russian Federation was signed by Boris Yeltsin bill Clinton and the 15 members of NATO the agreement states that quote in the current and foreseeable security environment Nato will refrain from permanent stationing of substantial combat forces in new members territories and Russia will quote exercise similarrestraintand well from 1997 until 2014 Nato stuck by this but then with Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea the security environment changed and Nato started deploying relatively small multinational battle groups in the Baltic states and Poland on a rotating basis this isn't inconsistent with NATO's treaty commitment because while the security environment has changed and NATO is now within its rights to defend its members with additional deployment sit's also worth noting that a return to the state of affairs in 1997 would entail Russia withdrawing its forces from Abkhazia south Ossetia Crimea and Donbas which unsurprisingly isn't mentioned in the draft text article 5 banning intermediate-range missile deployments within range of another isn't a bad idea but it's worth noting that the Soviet Union signed up to a similar commitment in 1987 with the intermediate-range nuclear forces treaty which Putin then unilaterally violated in 2017 with the development and deployment of the 9m729intermediate-range missile again this doesn't mean article 5 is a bad idea it's just that it's a big ask given Putin's track record on similarcommitmentsarticle 6 on the other hand is pretty ridiculous it would violate states basic right to form their own security partnerships and require a reversal of NATO's open-door policy codified in article 10 of its founding treaty any re-writing of the North Atlantic treaty would also formally require consensus among its 30 states which is completely unfathomable article 7 again is pretty far out banning Nato activity in Ukraine might be an idea given that Ukraine isn't a NATO member but banning Nato activity in eastern Europe which includes at a minimum Estonia Latvia Lithuania PolandSlovakia Hungary Romania and Bulgaria all of whom are Nato members is a very tall order now this isn't to say that this idea hasn't got mileage putting some sort of restriction on military activity near Russia might not be a bad idea but this would require further negotiation Putin's demands are well beyond what either Nato or the u's would consider acceptable and the kremlin presumably knows this which means they're one of two things either they're a maximalist negotiating position this is Putin's opening offer and he expects to end up with lessor they're just a mechanism for justifying an invasion of Ukraine and shifting the blame to the west Putin expects Nato and the us to say no and plans on using that to say look I tried to negotiate but the west left me with no Choice and to be honest it's hard to tell which one it is, on the one hand, Putin has accepted Biden's offer and agreed to negotiate with all parties involved which suggests it's a maximalist negotiating position, he's got bilateral u's Russia talks with Biden in Geneva Sunday and Monday then talks with Nation Brussels Tuesday and Wednesday then once talks in Vienna on Thursday on the other hand, Russia's deputy foreign minister insisted that the proposals were not up for negotiation and that they were a package deal you couldn't have one without the other so anyway, what do you think does Putin really want a negotiation or is he just play-acting and are these proposals even workable as a starting position for negotiations or are they just far too beyond the pale let us know your thoughts in the Comments down below.

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