Russia correspondent Iris de Graaf:
“In the Russian media, today’s consultations are portrayed as a moment of truth: will NATO respect Russia and adhere to the full set of demands?
Optimists hope that after this week new agreements will be concluded in the field of arms control or on advance notification of military exercises. This would take some pressure off the boiler.
At the same time, the Kremlin itself seems to realize that the unprecedented package of demands is unrealistic. So it is feared that after these summits Russia may say you see, we have tried diplomatically, but the West is not making any concessions. And so they left us no choice but to defend ourselves, and then take other steps towards Ukraine.”
NATO correspondent Sander van Horn:
“The fact that the NATO-Russia talks in the NATO building in Brussels is already a step. Two years ago Russia stopped those consultations, which had been taking place regularly until then. Short lines and staying in touch with each other, that is the goal today, and no more is expected, Because Putin’s demands are far-reaching and it is impossible for NATO to discuss them.
Russia has put on the table a set of demands that NATO cannot and does not want to meet. But as long as there is talk, there is no fighting, it is thought. NATO member states stress that if this happens, if Russia decides to attack Ukraine, there will be serious consequences. Penalties. But there is still a difference of opinion within NATO about the nature and severity of those sanctions.”
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